Stone culvert on state highway 58 near Santa Marguerita CA
In 1940-41, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) built several stone-lined culverts for drainage on California state highway 58 – also known as Calf Canyon Road – east of the intersection with route 229, roughly 5-10 miles east of Santa Marguerita CA. These are unusually elegant drainage works, since most culverts do not have rock walls above ground and WPA stamps in the stones. They were effectively small bridges over gullies, where previously the road dipped and could be flooded in winter.
These culverts were part of a program of WPA road work all over San Luis Obispo County during the 1930s, as indicated by WPA “project cards” in the National Archives. WPA project cards are only indicative, however; they show which projects were planned, funded by the WPA and approved by President Franklin Roosevelt; they do not guarantee that the work was actually done, since the WPA usually proposed more projects than it could carry out.
In this case, the proof of the work is in the WPA date stamps on the stone work. The culverts and stone walls of seven of these drainage works survive today (2021). Some have walls on both sides of the road, others only on one side.
WPA date stamps at sites
Project originally submitted by Richard Walker on April 9, 2021.
Additional contributions by Joan Greer.
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