San Ardo Section


San Ardo, California. Known widely for it's high grade oil fields, this is another small town like Bradley, that was completely bypassed by the construction of the new 101 freeway. Actually, San Ardo was one of the last communities on the original 101 route to be bypassed, which did not occur until 1971. I, myself remember passing through San Ardo on route to Atascadero many times, and stopping for a chocolate dipped cone at the old Valley Freeze drive-in restaurant. Like so many of the towns in the project area, San Ardo was also once was a regular stop on the Southern Pacific Railroad, and like many other small towns, the old station is now completely gone.

Very similar to Bradley to the south, there were two seperate routes of the old 101 through San Ardo, and two different bridges. The original San Ardo bridge over the Salinas river was located about 1/4 mile south of the current bridge. Until it was taken down in 1930, the original route came in from the south, and turned east across the old bridge, then entered the town on Jolon Ave. It continued east for three blocks, then turned north on Main St. for two blocks. It then turned east on what is now Cattlemen Rd. and continued north out of town toward San Lucas and King City staying just west of the SP tracks. After the construction of the current bridge in 1930, the route of 101 came through town completely on Cattlemen Rd, and made wide gentle curve through the town. There was never a stop sign or traffic light in San Ardo, and speeding traffic was always a problem. In the early 60's the CHP set up a billboard that looked like a CHP cruiser at a couple different locations in town just to fool passing motorists in an effort to slow them down.

West of bridge Old Bridge Valley Freeze Old route & Vintage Pics Norwalk Station Miranda's Store Richfield Station San Ardo Market Shell Station

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