[Clan Sinclair]
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[Major Gen. A. St. Clair]
   St. Clair
   St. Clair
   St. Clair
   of Ulbster
   Gov. Gen.
John, 17th
   lived N.D.
   d. 1920
Harry of
[John Lang Sinclair]
Ian Patrick
   St. Clare

Joseph Pierce Sinclair (1910-1964)

From: "Mike Sinclair" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 10:29:57 -0800

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you may have driven on the Sinclair Freeway. This stretch of Interstate Routes 280 and 680 provided San Jose with its first freeway service. The concept for the freeway took shape during the tenure of Joseph Sinclair as District Engineer in charge of District IV, California State Division of Highways (now Caltrans), from 1959 to 1964. Route location studies were initiated in 1955, and adopted as part of the Interstate System in 1962.

By a special act of the California State Legislature, [Assembly Concurrent Resolution 104, Chapt. 168 in 1967.] the portions of Interstate Route 280 between Route 17 and Route 101 in San Jose, and of Interstate Route 680 from Route 101 north to the Alameda County line were officially named the Sinclair Freeway.

Much planning and research went into the design of this freeway in order to provide both a beautiful and functional facility. The City of San Jose and the Division of Highways negotiated a cooperative agreement for the development of park and recreational facilities within the freeway right-of-way at six locations along this route in a precedent-setting Freeway/Parks concept.

To make the freeway more compatible with the adjacent residential properties, the first noise barrier in the Bay Area was installed. The freeway passed through an old Olive orchard. Many of the trees were removed and replanted within the freeway right of way to preserve these old trees. The freeway was landscaped and was officially designated as a "landscape freeway". When a freeway gets this official designation it eliminates the possibility of outdoor advertising being placed adjacent to the freeway.

Sinclair was a pioneer in the design and routing of the State's great freeway system. Born in Minnesota in 1910, he joined the Division of Highways in 1932 as rodman on a survey party, after graduation from the University of Southern California as a civil engineer. Subsequently, he filled positions of increasing responsibility as a freeway planner, designer, and builder in San Diego and Los Angeles, prior to coming to San Francisco in 1952. During World War II he served as Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Seabees, stationed in the South Pacific. At the time of his death in 1964 he had become nationally known in his profession.

In designating a freeway in his honor, the legislature for the first time named a highway after a civil engineer.

This branch of the Sinclair line traces its lineage back to Duncan and Christie McNaughton Sinclair, who emigrated from Scotland to Broadalbin, New York, in 1797.

Submitted by his son, Mike Sinclair

Last changed: $Date: 2002/11/12 23:58:54 $ [Clan Sinclair]