One of the major projects undertaken by Caltrans for improvements on Highway 94, was the 1.9 mile stretch east of Barrett Café going up the hill that included construction of the new Cottonwood bridge.  This project was completed in 1954.

This stretch of road started 1/8 mile east of Barrett to rejoin the older road three miles farther east.  The new section eliminated 33 curves and two narrow bridges and replaced them with a straighter right of way and the new bridge over Cottonwood Creek.  Note picture of new bridge under construction.  This new stretch of highway saved time and provided a much safer road for all traffic.  This is the road we currently use.  It probably has been widened, but is basically the same.

When this project was completed there was a 3 day celebration over Labor Day, September 3-6, 1954.  There was a rodeo and barbecue Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  The main event Sunday was a horse show at 10 a.m. with children events following.   At that time there was a rodeo  arena across the road from Barrett Café - on the current Taylor Ranch.  This was used very frequently for rodeo events. 

This celebration was sponsored by the Highway 94 Club.  The main ribbon cutting ceremony was on Monday, Labor Day at 2 pm. with  E. E. Wallace, San Diego district engineer of the State Division of Highways, doing the honors to open this new section of highway.  The dignitaries in attendance were: (1)

Assemblyman Ralph Cloyed (R-Chula Vista);   Frank Jorgensen, assistant district engineer in charge of operations;   Carl Renuls, resident engineer;   Ben Patterson, foreman of construction;   Edward Leonard, president of the Highway 94 Club;   Cmdr Sam Moore, past president of Highway 94 Club; Don Walker, president Highway 80 Chamber of Commerce;  John Abbot, president Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce; representatives of San Diego County Highway Development Associations.  From Baja California were Sosa y Silva, representing Gov. Braulio Maldonado and Mayor  Eufracio Santana Sandoval of Tecate along with other guests from Mexico.  Jack Schrade, El Cajon, candidate for the 80th Assembly District, was master of ceremonies.

The Chula Vista Mounted Police Color Guard, led by W. H. Snow, lead a parade from Barrett over the old section of the road and to the site of the ceremony east of the new bridge.  This was quite a celebration!!

This was a major undertaking for the time and a great improvement to Highway 94.  It not only improved the safety of the highway, but saved traveling time and stress.  While driving along this road you can see how much rock and decomposed granite had to be removed and taken away to canyons that were filled in.  At that time there was not the traffic there is today, even if you exclude the trucks, and it was the only place safe to pass slow traffic except for Daley stretch.


Picture #34 Barrett Bridge construction

#35 Barrett Road opening.  

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