The Crosstown Freeway
In 1968, the destruction of businesses and residential buildings in Little Manila began in order to pave way for the development of the Crosstown Freeway. The Washington-Lafayette blocks were destroyed because they were chosen as the starting point for this project. The demolition forced the relocation of Filipinos who once inhabited the vibrant community. Two year later, the population was cut down to a third of its size. Freeway construction was originally expected to be completed by 1972, although due to a lack of funds and budget miscalculations, it was not finished until the 1990s.
Engineers and other highway planners had high hopes for the project, they believed that the freeway’s completion would bring the revitalization of Stockton. Time has shown that their original vision was not manifested into reality. The wealthier north side of Stockton and the impoverished south side are now divided by the freeway, and this division has done little to solve the diminishing local economy and crime on the south side.
Courtesy of the Little Manila Foundation