San Diego

Labor Day Weekend Highlights Progress of Mission Bay Bridge Expansion

As San Diegans hit the beach for Labor Day weekend, construction crews worked on a multi-million-dollar upgrade to a historic bridge just a mile away.

The City of San Diego is expanding the West Mission Bay Drive Bridge to meet the demand for traffic and stay within current seismic and safety standards.

The construction left two lanes opened in each direction, prompting some delays for families headed to the beach for the holiday weekend.

Once completed, the bridge will be divided into two separate structures for northbound and southbound traffic, each with three lanes and a class 1 bike path.

Crews are currently putting in flared columns and digging nearly 200 feet into the ground to install bridge supports. Within a month, a temporary structure will be in place so concrete can be poured in to extend the bridge. By summer 2020, the new northbound lanes will be open.

The sidewalks on the new bridge will be widened from four feet to 12 feet. Benches and other seating will be scattered throughout this pedestrian portion for onlookers to relax on the bridge, City of San Diego engineer Isac Vallejo told NBC 7.

The project also includes roadway widening and improvements along Sports Arena Boulevard, West Mission Bay Drive, and the westbound Interstate 8 off-ramp.

Construction to widen the bridge began in summer 2018, and crews estimate that the project will be completed by mid-2022.

The project received federal funding from the Federal Highway Administration and the Highway Bridge Program.

The West Mission Bay Drive Bridge was built in the early 1950s. Caltrans evaluated the more-than-60-year-old bridge and found it to be functionally obsolete, according to city officials.

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