INTERSTATE 880 - Nimitz Freeway

Interstate 880 is officially called the "Nimitz Freeway" but it has been nicknamed the "Nasty Nimitz" by the local traffic reporters because of the horrendous backups that can occur on this very busy freeway.

Interstate 880 begins its southbound journey at the I-80/I-580 interchange (a.k.a. "The Maze") in Oakland and heads south through the cities of Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Union City, Fremont and Milpitas before ending at the Interstate 280 interchange in San Jose. The freeway was originally signed at State Route 17 but was renumbered in the 1980's.

Exit 377A Exit Number Installed
Exit 377A Exit Number Not Installed

Exit 10

Dixon Landing Road straddles Alameda and Santa Clara counties. The Milpitas landfill is located west of the freeway while a mix of residential and commercial areas are located east of the freeway. This is also a good alternate route to the McCarthy Ranch shopping center.

Exit 8C

Westbound Hwy 237 passes through north San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale before ending in Mountain View. Because of extensive commercial development along this corridor, the freeway is very congested during commute hours.

A carpool-to-carpool ramp was built connecting south Interstate 880 to west Highway 237. This ramp can be used by anyone outside of commute hours.

Exit 8B

Highway 237 east continues as Calaveras Blvd through the city of Milpitas before ending at Interstate 680. McCarthy Blvd and the McCarthy Ranch shopping center are also accessible from this exit.

Exit 8A

Great Mall Pkwy heads east to the Great Mall of the Bay Area. It used to be a Ford assembly plant before it was closed and transformed into a shopping mall. After crossing Montague Expwy, it becomes Capitol Avenue.

Tasman Drive heads west to a number of commercial developments and the Great America theme park. The VTA has a light rail line running in the median of from Fair Oaks Ave in Sunnyvale to east San Jose.

Exit 7

Montague Expwy is part of the county's expressway system with a number to tech companies located along the corridor. South of U.S. 101, Montague Expwy becomes San Tomas Expwy.

Exit 5

Westbound Brokaw Road becomes Airport Pkwy after crossing First Street and heads into the Mineta San Jose International Airport. This section of Interstate 880 was widened to 6 lanes from 4 in 2003. This relieved one of worst bottlenecks in the region. There are plans to add an HOV lane from Hwy 237 to U.S. 101.

Exit 4C

U.S. 101 heads north to San Francisco and beyond to the Oregon and Washington coast.

Although it's signed like a direct connector to U.S. 101 north, it isn't. The road the ramp leads to is Old Bayshore Hwy and to get to U.S. 101, you have to make a right at the signal (Old Bayshore) and then make a left onto the U.S. 101 north on-ramp located about a quarter mile from this exit.

Exit 4B

U.S. 101 is one of two main highways linking Los Angeles and San Francisco. U.S. 101 follows the California coastline on its journey to southern California.

This ramp is a direct connector to U.S. 101 south but it's an old style cloverleaf ramp that causes merging problems and extensive backups on Interstate 880.

Exit 4A

First Street links downtown San Jose to the mostly commercial region of north San Jose. It also has a VTA light rail line running almost its entire length. Because of the light rail, First Street is a pretty narrow 4-lane or 2-lane street.

Exit 3

The Coleman Avenue exit is the primary way to get to the Mineta San Jose International Airport. Southbound Coleman heads into downtown San Jose. Northbound Coleman heads into Santa Clara.

Due to low-flying aircraft landing at the near-by airport, the exit sign is not an overhead.

Exit 2

The Alameda is the southern extension of El Camino Real. It begins near Santa Clara University and runs all the way to downtown San Jose. Hwy 82 extends north to Daly City via El Camino Real and south to south San Jose via Monterey Hwy.

Exit 1D

Bascom Avenue is a major north-south road that connects Los Gatos and Campbell to San Jose and Santa Clara. San Jose City College is located to the south while Santa Clara University is located to the north.

Exit 1C

Due to the proximity of the Valley Fair mall and Santana Row to this exit, this ramp is often backed up during the day, 7 days a week. Stevens Creek Blvd becomes San Carlos St at Bascom Avenue and it's a major east-west road between Cupertino and San Jose.

Exit 1B

Interstate 280 is a more scenic freeway to San Francisco and passes through Santa Clara and Cupertino before heading into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. South Interstate 280 heads into downtown San Jose.


Interstate 880 becomes State Highway 17 after crossing Interstate 280 and heads to Santa Cruz. This transition is technically Exit 1A.