transportation

After Delays, Mission Bay Drive Bridge Reopens to Drivers, Walkers and Bikers

The new overpass replaces an outdated bridge built in 1950 that couldn't keep up with current traffic demands in the popular Mission Beach area, according to the city

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After several delays and years of construction and closures, the Mission Bay Drive Bridge first built in 1950 has been rebuilt and reopened to drivers.

The new overpass, which was meant to replace an outdated bridge built in 1950 that couldn't keep up with current traffic demands in the popular Mission Beach area, was set to be finished last fall and was finally completed in April with two bridges, each with three lanes, protected bike lanes and a walking path.

The bridge is located on West Mission Bay Drive between I-8 and SeaWorld Drive, about a mile west of the Interstate 8/I-5 interchange. The bridge connects the SeaWorld peninsula to both the Mission Beach area and the Midway District.

The connector was reopened at the project's halfway mark, to allow for some traffic to flow over the bridge and to make way for the start of the demolition of the old bridge. But San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Rep. Scott Peters, Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu officially opened the thoroughfare Tuesday.

"This project improves a vital connection to one of San Diego’s most visited beach communities," Peters said. "Over $138 million in federal funds, including $80 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, made this bridge a reality with the help of the Federal Highway Administration."

City of San Diego
A rendering of the City of San Diego's West Mission Bay Drive Bridge project.

According to the city, the improvements will include:

  • Two new parallel bridge structures with three travel lanes in each direction
  • A class 1 bike path on both bridges
  • Roadway widening and improvements along Sports Arena Boulevard, West Mission Bay Drive and the westbound I-8 off-ramp
  • Additional architectural features
  • Environmental mitigation
  • a 12-foot-wide shared path for pedestrians and people riding bikes, scooters or other modes of transportation

Traffic volume has greatly increased since the old West Mission Bay Drive Bridge was built 70 years ago, according to the city, so the replacement project accommodates that growth in San Diego.

City of San Diego
A rendering of the City of San Diego's West Mission Bay Drive Bridge project.
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