Ort J. Lofthus
Stockton, San Joaquin County
Ort J. Lofthus, Stockton business owner, civic leader, and driving force behind getting the Crosstown Freeway completed, died March 7, 2022. Mr. helped to celebrate the State Route 4/Crosstown Freeway Extension project near the Port of Stockton. The Crosstown Freeway, which connects Interstate 5 and State Route 99, is officially named the Ort J. Lofthus Freeway for his tireless pursuit to have the state complete what had become known as a “freeway to nowhere:• A marker with Lofthus’ image on it at the intersection of W. Lafayette and S. Center streets in Stockton dedicated March 16, 1987, reads: “This outstanding civic leader rejected the prospect that Stockton would settle for a ‘freeway to nowhere: He organized the FOCUS (Finish Our Crosstown-Unite Stockton) committee and motivated our state government to complete this vital link between 1-5 and US 99. More than any other individual he worked persistently to make it a ‘Freeway to Somewhere:” He also promoted the widening of Interstate 205 to relieve congestion on that vital route to the San Francisco Bay Area. A daughter, Susan, is a former member of the SJCOG Board of Directors.