Blue Star Memorial Highways

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Photo of Blue Star Memorial
Blue Star Memorial Marker


After World War II, a nationwide movement was started to pay tribute to the nation's armed forces, by designating various State and national routes as "Blue Star Memorial Highways." In 1945, the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. approved the Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker program. California Garden Clubs, Inc. accepted the program in 1947, when the California Legislature designated Highway 40 (now Route 80) and Highway 99.



Caltrans will cooperate with the California Garden Clubs, Inc. in erecting and maintaining appropriate memorial markers on highways the California Legislature has designated as Blue Star Memorial Highways.




The Landscape Architecture Program is responsible for coordinating the Blue Star Memorial Highway program. The Transportation System Information Program, Office of Highway System Engineering, maintains a log of designated highway segments. This log is available in 2015 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California, pages 203-206, Blue Star Memorial Highways, and electronically at Legislative Affairs, if requested, will assist the California Garden Clubs, Inc. with preparation of draft legislative resolutions.


The district is responsible for assuring that the location of a proposed marker is within a designated segment of highway, and for approving the actual site.

The district will assume the administrative costs associated with the project, including processing permits and, if required, staff assistance and traffic controls.

An encroachment permit is required. However, because these markers designate memorial highways authorized by Legislative resolutions, the district will not charge a permit fee.


Highways are designated as Blue Star Memorial Highways by the California Legislature. It is the responsibility of the California Garden Clubs, Inc. to initiate and sponsor Legislative resolutions through their local legislators.

The permittee is responsible for the cost of all labor and materials involved in providing and installing the marker, as well as any modifications required to the facilities to accommodate the marker.

If a marker is vandalized or accidentally damaged, the permittee is responsible for its restoration, replacement or removal.



Location of Markers

Markers will only be erected on highway segments that the Legislature has designated as Blue Star Memorial highways.

On designated highway segments with safety roadside rest areas, markers should be placed in rest areas.

On designated highway segments without rest areas, markers will be placed at vista points, historical sites, or other appropriate areas approved by the district.

The district will work with the California Garden Clubs, Inc. in identifying an appropriate site, determining if planting is desirable, and to coordinate the project. Other than a marker, features such as paving, benches or signs, will not be permitted.

Placement of markers must consider the effect of the proposed marker on routine roadside maintenance activities, traffic flow and the maintainability of the marker without interference to traffic.


The district will perform minor maintenance activities associated with the markers, such as litter pickup and other maintenance that is normally associated with the involved facility or right of way.

Caltrans will not be responsible for maintaining the integrity of the marker. If a marker is vandalized or accidentally damaged, the district will consult with the permittee concerning its restoration, replacement, or removal.

Dedication Ceremony

The California Garden Clubs, Inc. normally conduct a dedication ceremony at the site after a marker has been erected. A representative from the district should attend this ceremony to accept the marker.


Blue Star Memorial policy is described in Chapter 29 of Caltrans Project Development Procedures Manual. Click here to read about Blue Star Memorials.

Contact Information

Click here to view Blue Star Memorial contact information.