Map of the construction areaThe new route and former road.
The National Industrial Recovery Act was involved in the construction of the final portion of former intercontinental highway 60, now Interstate 10, that used to stretch from Virginia to Los Angeles. The 24.3 mile Indio cutoff was built to cut 9 miles off the narrow and twisty Box Canyon road (route 64). The route rises from its westerly end near Indio at an elevation of 47 feet below sea level to a maximum elevation of 1688 feet at Shavers Summit, now known as Chiriaco Summit, formerly the location of General Pattons tank training facility (’42 – ’44) and also near the Colorado river aqueduct (a New Deal project).
According to a September 1934 of issue of California Highway and Public Works, the NIRA financed the project. It employed 100 men through the Riverside County Reemployment Agency. “The total construction cost on this project is estimated at $456,000 with the chief items of work being the grading and 15 timber bridges at a cost of approximately $149,000.”
Men worked in the middle of southeastern California’s Mojave Desert… “a bleak, inhospitable, remote, vast expanse of cactus, scrub and sand. Temperatures ranged from below freezing to 120 in the shade. There was little water and vegetation. Dust storms could blind men and cloudbursts were frequent.” (http://generalpattonmuseum.com)
September 1934 issue of California Highway and Public Works http://generalpattonmuseum.com/general-patton-and-the-desert-training-center/#sthash.glg7bvpq.dpuf
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on August 1, 2014.
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