April 5, 1960
San Fernando officials cut the ribbon on U.S. Route 101, giving the Valley its first freeway. With its slice through the Cahuenga Pass, the roadway provides a much-needed shortcut to Hollywood. This new hunk of Route 101 joins State Route 110 at downtown’s recently completed Four Level Interchange, the first stack interchange in the world.
As California’s longest freeway, the 101 has inspired oodles of artworks. Legendary brass whiz Herb Alpert orchestrated an instrumental piece dubbed “Route 101,” and Michael Jackson is widely believed to have drafted Billie Jean while driving the stretch we call the Hollywood Freeway.
Photograph courtesy Dreams Time