Photos and a story from 1946 of the construction of the Cabrillo Freeway, today’s SR-163 through Balboa Park, are a great look at today’s beautiful and historic route.

The November-December 1946 issue of California Highways and Public Works Magazine, located on that great source of history, archive.org, show aerial and surface photos of the road’s construction through what was an open-space canyon in the middle of the park.

The story talks about construction of the Cabrillo Freeway, a $4 million project, which includes landscaping through the park. It notes that San Diego voters in 1941 supported building a newfangled freeway through the beloved park.

Aerial view of then U.S. 395 construction through Hillcrest.
1946 aerial view of then U.S. 395 construction through Hillcrest.

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