I sure hope that the authorities figured out where Prison Camp 40 moved back in 1951.

The bypass of The Willows and Viejas Indian Reservation of then-U.S. 80 was partially excavated by convict labor back in 1950 until the prisoners moved away, according to California Highways and Public Works magazine, accessed via archive.org.

“Grading operations were partially completed by convict labor at Prison Camp 40, but the camp was moved elsewhere before completion,” wrote J. F. Jorgensen, Assistant District Engineer in the September-October 1951 issue of the magazine.

Whatever happened to the convicts, we still benefit from their work today. Interstate 8 widened this route in the 1970s and it continues to carry traffic. The old highway used The Willows, today a loop to the north of the freeway that’s home to the Viejas Casino. There’s more on Old Highway 80 in Joyrides Around San Diego.


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