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California State Route 87

State Route 87 marker

State Route 87
Guadalupe Freeway
Route information
Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 387
Maintained by Caltrans
Length: 9 mi[1] (14 km)
Existed: 1964 renumbering[2] – present
Major junctions
South end: SR 85 in San Jose
  I‑280 in San Jose
North end: US 101 in San Jose
Highway system
SR 86 SR 88

State Route 87 (SR 87), locally called Highway 87 or the Guadalupe Freeway, is a north–south state highway entirely within San Jose, California, United States, with as exception a very small portion that is part of the unincorporated county. Its name was changed from Guadalupe Parkway (although signs still refer to it as the Guadalupe Parkway) in 2004 after its entire constructed length was upgraded to a freeway. For most of its length, especially in Downtown San Jose, the highway follows the course of the Guadalupe River. Its southern terminus is at State Route 85 (West Valley Freeway), and its northern terminus is at U.S. Route 101 (Bayshore Freeway) just north of San Jose International Airport. Unusually, it crosses over Interstate 880 (Nimitz Freeway) without an interchange, making it the only point in California where two freeways cross without a connection.[3]


  • Route description 1
  • History 2
  • Exit list 3
  • Highway 87 Bikeway 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Route description

This route is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System.[4]

A Guadalupe Parkway connection between Downtown San Jose and the present day US 101 had existed since the early 1960s; the road channeled traffic between the Bayshore Freeway and ramps that connected directly to Market Street. However, construction on a freeway over the same path and southward beyond Downtown began a decade later and stretched across 30 years.

The first stage of the Highway 87 freeway, its 4-level interchange with I-280, replaced an old downtown neighborhood in the early 1970s. A ramp to Julian Street, north of the interchange with I-280, was completed in the mid-1970s. The freeway extension north to Taylor Street was completed in the 1980s. The southern part, from I-280 to Highway 85, was opened to Almaden Expressway in 1992 and to Highway 85 in 1993, built in conjunction with the construction of a light rail line. Local-express lanes were constructed along this segment, the Northbound segment running from Interstate 280 to Julian Street and the Southbound extension from Interstate 280 to Alma Avenue. At Highway 87's northern terminus, its 3-level interchange with Highway 101 and North First Street was completed in 1992. Finally, with all grade-level intersections replaced by grade separations, construction of the six-lane freeway between Taylor Street and the Highway 101/North First interchange was completed in 2004, with the final ramps at the Skyport interchange opening in 2005. The widening of the southern segment, from Taylor Street to Highway 85, to six lanes was completed in 2007.

Highway 87 looking north towards downtown San Jose from Communications Hill. VTA light rail runs between the northbound and southbound lanes; the freeway was under construction to add an additional lane in both directions.

The right-of-way for Highway 87 south of Interstate 280 includes two tracks for the Guadalupe line of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail system. Stations are accessible from the streets via staircases and elevators. Beyond 87's terminus, the line continues southeastward in the median of Route 85.


Highway 87, as defined legislatively, would have extended from its current northern terminus, skirting the edge of San Francisco Bay as the Bayfront Freeway to San Francisco. This would have provided an eastern bypass to U.S. Highway 101 along the Peninsula (Highway 101 itself being originally a bypass to El Camino Real along the Peninsula). The route would have ended at Highway 480 (the Embarcadero Freeway) practically underneath the Bay Bridge, and it would also have connected to the approaches to the unconstructed San Francisco Bay Southern Crossing. Along with Route 61, a similar project on the eastern shore of the Bay, this portion of Route 87 was abandoned due to local opposition to the project that would have destroyed a nearly pristine wildlife habitat. In 1980, the route was truncated to end at SR 237.[2]

Unusually, Highway 87 crosses above Interstate 880 (Nimitz Freeway) without an interchange. Located between Taylor Street and Skyport Drive, the site where the two freeways cross has two restrictions that prevent the construction of any connecting ramps. First, because of its proximity to the runways at San Jose International Airport, any elevated ramps running above the Highway 87 mainline would interfere with flight paths. Second, tunneling underneath would make a significant environmental impact to the nearby Guadalupe River.[3]

A resolution of the state legislature in 2007 named a section of this highway (between I-280 and Julian Street/Santa Clara Street) the Lewis E. Platt Memorial Highway, and required that signage be paid by private donations.[5]

Exit list

The entire route is in San Jose, Santa Clara County.

mi[6] km Exit[6] Destinations Notes
0.00 0.00 1 SR 85 (West Valley Freeway) – Gilroy, Mountain View Southbound exit and northbound entrance; signed as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north); south end of SR 87; SR 85 north exit 5A, south exit 5B
0.00 0.00 1C Santa Teresa Boulevard Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1.34 2.16 1D Capitol Expressway Auto Mall (CR G21) Signed as exit 1 northbound
2.83 4.55 3A Curtner Avenue Signed as exit 3 northbound
3.35 5.39 3B Almaden Expressway (CR G8) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
4.12 6.63 4 Alma Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
5.15 8.29 5 I‑280 to I‑680 / US 101 – San Francisco I-280 exit 3A
5.56 8.95 6A To SR 82 / San Carlos Street, Auzerais Avenue, Park Avenue Signed as exit 6 northbound
6.10 9.82 6 Santa Clara Street Northbound exit only
6.10 9.82 6B Julian Street, St. James Street Signed as exit 6 northbound
6.80 10.94 7 Taylor Street Taylor Street forms a single-point urban interchange (SPUI) over Highway 87.
8.75 14.08 8 Skyport Drive – Mineta San Jose International Airport
8.75 14.08 9A North First Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance
8.80 14.16 9B US 101 north (Bayshore Freeway) – San Francisco Northbound exit and southbound entrance; north end of SR 87; US 101 south exit 390
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Highway 87 Bikeway

The Highway 87 Bikeway is a 4.1-mile-long (6.6 km) pedestrian and bicycle path that runs alongside portions of Highway 87. The path was constructed by Caltrans as part of the final phase of the State Route 87 project. It opened to the public on September 1, 1993.[7] The north end of this path is at Willow Street (north of the Alma Street exit). The south end is at the 87-85 interchange. Along this route, the path runs along the east side of the freeway. The path diverges from the freeway for 0.7 miles (1.1 km) near Curtner Avenue and again for 1.1 miles (1.8 km) near Capitol Expressway, running along city streets near the highway. This path provides connections for other trails in the area, including the Guadalupe River Trail and Los Gatos Creek Trail.[8]


  1. ^ January 1, 2006 California Log of Bridges on State Highways
  2. ^ a b California Highways: State Route 87
  3. ^ a b Richards, Gary (July 23, 2007). "Missed connection: Why there is no interchange at Hwy. 87 and I-880".  
  4. ^ CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  5. ^  
  6. ^ a b Warring, KS (March 7, 2008). "State Route 87 Freeway Interchanges" (PDF).  
  7. ^ Kava, Brad (1993-09-17). "Highway 87, The Way to San Jose". San Jose Mercury News. p. 1C. (subscription required)
  8. ^ "Highway 87 Bikeway". Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services. City of San Jose. 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 

External links

  • Caltrans: Route 87 road conditions
  • Eric Buchanan's Highway Photo Page: 87 Guadalupe Parkway (project history and historical images)
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