Special Route Restriction History - Route 85


This weight restriction is an 18.4-mile segment of Route 85 from Junction Route 101 in San Jose to Junction Route 280 in Cupertino (PM 0.00 to 18.45 in Santa Clara County).


"Trucks over 9,000 lbs gross vehicle weight prohibited. For exceptions, click here to jump down the page to Santa Clara County Ordinance, Sec. B17-5.4. - Exceptions. Per CVC Sec 35722."

Alternate Routes

Alternate routes are designated as Routes 17, 101, and 280.


1956-1957 - The California Highway Commission adopted Route 85 between Route 101 in San Jose and Route 101 in Mountain View.

1960 - Right-of-way acquisition began in the West Valley Corridor.

1975 - The acquisition was halted.

1979 - The county demonstrated the need for a facility and requested that the right-of-way be preserved.

1982 - An Environmental Impact Study (EIS) was approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to protect the right-of-way.

1982 - In December, local agencies requested that Caltrans begin a study. A Policy Advisory Board was formed composed of elected officials from the affected local governments; its purpose was to advise and approve the alternatives of the study.

1984 - The Measure A half-cent sales tax approved by voters to fund improvements on highways 85, 237 and 101.

1985 - On October 23 & 24, public hearings were held to gather comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

1986 - On June 11, another public hearing was held to gather comments on the Draft EIS to meet FHWA requirements. (The EIR is a state document; the EIS is a federal document.) The comment period closed on June 23, 1986.

1986 - On June 25, the "Route 85 Policy Advisory Board" recommended a truck ban and an alternative route for Route 85 in Cupertino.

1987 - On August 18, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) which included the recommendation to ban trucks.

1987 - The cities along Route 85 sponsored Assembly Bill 1941 (Quackenbush) which banned trucks on Route 85. On September 27, Governor Deukmejian signed the bill.

1988 - On January 1, AB 1941 became law. The bill amended the California Vehicle Code by adding section 35722.

1988 - Local resolutions passed and adopted: 
January 19 - Cupertino City Council, Resolution No. 7411.
January 20 - Saratoga City Council, Resolution No. 2463.
February 1 - Los Gatos Town Council, Resolution No. 1988-35.
February 16 - Campbell City Council, Resolution No. 7500.
February 23 - San Jose City Council, Resolution No. 60380.
March 22 - Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors passed and adopted Resolution NS-703.5. (This resolution specifically says 9,000 pounds "...per truck or per truck and full trailer or semitrailer combination.")

1988 - On May 13, Caltrans District 4 recommended that the truck ban be approved so that the Department may proceed with the negotiation of freeway agreements with the local governments.

1988 - On May 13, the Director of the California Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans) approved the recommendation for a truck ban.

1994 - Highway 85 opened to traffic.

California Vehicle Code

CVC Section 35722. Prior to the execution of freeway agreements for State Highway Route 85 in Santa Clara County, with the concurrence of each city within the highway corridor, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Clara may, after a public hearing, adopt a proposed ordinance imposing a maximum gross truck weight limit of 9,000 pounds on Route 85 from State Highway Route 280 in Cupertino south and east to State Highway Route 101 in San Jose, and submit the proposed ordinance to the Department of Transportation for approval. Upon approval of the proposed ordinance by the department, this weight limit shall be stipulated in the applicable freeway agreements with the local entities in the Route 85 corridor. If the proposed ordinance is approved by the department, the weight limit shall become effective upon opening of any portion of the new Route 85 freeway corridor as defined in this section, and the department shall post appropriate signs, similar to the signs on State Highway Route 580 in Oakland. Except as otherwise provided in this section, this article shall be applicable to an ordinance adopted pursuant to this section.

Santa Clara County Ordinance

Santa Clara County's draft ordinance was passed on March 22, 1988. See the Santa Clara County Ordinance Code, Division B17.

Sec. B17-5.3. - Trucks with gross weight in excess of 9,000 pounds prohibited on State Highway 85.
The maximum gross weight of vehicle and load on State Highway Route 85 from State Highway Route 280 in the City of Cupertino south and east to State Highway Route 101 in the City of San Jose is 9,000 pounds per truck or per truck and full trailer or semitrailer combination. State Highway Routes 17, 101 and 280 are hereby designated as alternate routes for the use of such vehicles that are prohibited the use of Route 85. (Ord. No. NS-703.5, § 1, 3-22-88)

Sec. B17-5.4. - Exceptions.
The following shall be excepted from the vehicular weight restriction imposed by Section B17-5.3: Police and Fire Department vehicles, passenger buses, recreational vehicles, and utility vehicles which need to enter the area for the purpose of providing services, making pickups or deliveries of goods, wares and merchandise, or delivering construction materials to sites within the restricted highway segment and have no other means of access, while actually involved in and transacting such activities. (Ord. No. NS-703.5, § 2, 3-22-88)