The Matrix Reloaded Highway: How a Disused Naval Base Became a Hollywood Freeway

The iconic freeway chase scene in "The Matrix Reloaded" wasn't filmed on any ordinary road; it took place on an old airplane runway of a disused naval base.

The Matrix Reloaded Highway

What highway was the Matrix Reloaded on?

The movie producers constructed, from scratch, a lifelike freeway at the decommissioned Naval Air Station Alameda on Alameda Island, in Alameda County, California, at a cost of $2.5 million (£1.25 million). This was the first freeway built by a Hollywood studio. Distant images of the city were placed where the creators wanted them to be. General Motors donated more than a hundred cars for the scene, all of which were trashed.

How long was the Matrix Reloaded Highway?

Specifically designed by the Wachowski brothers for the chase scene, the highway was 1.25 miles (2 km) long, enclosed by a 19ft wall made from timber and plywood to mimic concrete. The road was completely paved, featuring three lanes in each direction. The freeway featured logos referring to Gulliver's Travels, the oft-repeating numeral 101, and an exit signboard to Paterson Pass, allegedly a reference to production designer Owen Paterson.

Does the Matrix Reloaded Freeway exist today?

Once filming concluded, the entire highway was dismantled. Some chase scenes were also filmed in Oakland, California.