1944: They called it “Streamlining California”

1944; it was almost the end of WWII, and, John Reber, “the man who wanted to remodel San Francisco Bay,” revealed his plans for a 5-hour Military Highway and SuperFreeway Connecting San Francisco with Los Angeles.

There are two crescents; (1) 125-mile San Francisco and Los Angeles Areas in which live 90% of California’s 800,000 people; (2) 50-mile Los Angeles and San Francisco Metro Areas in which live two-thirds of California’s 800,000 people.

Heavy Lines: Major California Highways.

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Bay to Lake: A Failed 1940s Plan Would Have Turned

San Francisco Bay Into Two Lakes by June Morrall

In the early 1940s Redwood City resident Francis G. Hutchinson attended a meeting that featured John Reber, “the man who wanted to remodel San Francisco Bay.”

As Hutchinson listened closely, the author of the controversial “Reber Plan” explained how his “super-colossal” job of geographic re-configuration would effect the Peninsula.

Standing before a small audience in a Sequoia High School classroom, John Reber, a retired actor, pointed at detailed maps and charts, rendered by the eminent San Francisco structural engineer, L.H. Nishkian.

Exuding the polish of a “dignified politician,” Reber described building earth-and-rock-filled dams at the northern and southern ends of San Francisco Bay which would create two huge freshwater lakes, connected by a freshwater ship channel. As causeways, these dams would carry as many as 32 lanes of automobile traffic, as well as railroad tracks.

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