THREE SPRINGS CURVE - POTRERO

 

The worst of all curves on Hwy 94 was located 2.6 miles east of Potrero.  It was a  narrow twisty road with sharp curves along the side of the mountain that was very treacherous.  From the picture, you can see that a school bus and hay truck could hardly pass safely.  Those of us in Potrero and Tecate who sent our children to school at Campo worried whether they were safe on these curves. One horror story from the children is that they could stick their arm out the window and  touch an oncoming truck.  There were many accidents, but to my recollection there was never a serious school bus accident.  It was imperative to go slowly and carefully in rain or shine.

In 1965 a realignment of a 1.3 mile section of Route 94 between 2.6 miles and 3.9 miles east of Potrero was proposed.  This new alignment would bypass a section known as “French’s” (where Frank French lived)  or “Three Springs” (Blackburns) curve.  (Both residents on Highway 94).   It started just past the area known as “Maggie’s Bedroom” and went to the end of French’s property.   See diagram.

On January 7, 1966 there was a public hearing at the State Division of Highways.  Jacob Dekema, District Engineer for the Division of Highways said that the purpose of the hearing was to keep the public informed on highway matters and to obtain information which would assist the Division in planning for future improvements on this highway.  Economic and cultural needs of the community, as well as traffic requirements had to be evaluated before final approval.  Even back in 1965 they had environmental regulations to follow.

This project was approved and Ferry Brothers Construction Co. of El Cajon contracted the job.  Work started in Nov. 1967 and the road was built 32 feet wide and designed for traffic at 55 miles an hour.  The crew encountered hard rock in the cut that caused some delay.  This stretch of 1.3 miles was opened in March 1968. 

This stretch of road improvement has saved many lives over the years.  Sometimes people use it as a speedway, but it is still safer than the old road.  The old road can still be seen and anyone driving this road on a regular basis can certainly be thankful we have this improvement.

About the same time a straight stretch of road was put in, to eliminate the “Maggie’s Bedroom” curve.  It is just west of  this new stretch of road, but I could find no information on this.  This curve was very bad.  A café was located on this curve  which truck drivers used to frequent. 

 

Picture #36 - Diagram of road

        #37 - Bus and Truck passing on old curve  

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