Mayor Todd Gloria on Jan. 5 was joined by City Council President Jennifer Campbell to open traffic onto a portion of the new West Mission Bay Drive Bridge, signaling that the $135 million project is now roughly halfway complete.
On Jan. 6, motorists will begin to be diverted onto the newly constructed bridge to allow the existing, aging bridge to be safely demolished. As the existing bridge is demolished, the iron, concrete and other materials will be hauled off to be recycled and reused in other capacities.
The old West Mission Bay Drive bridge was built in the early 1950s and features only two travel lanes for northbound and southbound traffic. As traffic volume increased significantly during the past 70 years, the bridge was targeted for replacement to accommodate this growth. The new version features two standalone bridges – each with three vehicle lanes – and a 12-foot-wide shared path for pedestrians and people riding bicycles, scooters or other modes of transportation.
Adding protected bike and pedestrian lanes will improve the safety and accessibility for all road users on this busy route linking the Loma Portal and Midway District neighborhoods with SeaWorld, Mission Bay Park and popular beach areas.
"It’s an exciting day in District 2,” said Council President Campbell. “The opening of the new West Mission Bay Bridge is a big step in reducing traffic, increasing safety and creating better options for the residents in our beach communities to move around."
In addition to the significant infrastructure and mobility upgrades, this high-profile project provides for environmental mitigation at key locations along the San Diego River, allowing for the growth of native vegetation and habitat for protected species in the area.
Improvements will also be made to widen the westbound Interstate 8 off-ramp, as well as nearby Sports Arena Boulevard. The project is expected to be completed in 2022.
Construction on the project began in July 2018. Conceptual renderings of the bridge and live video feed of the work in progress are available by visiting www.sandiego.gov/bridge-replacement.
“I am thrilled to open this new bridge that will ease traffic congestion in a heavily traveled part of our city and ultimately provide bicyclists and pedestrians a safe and environmentally friendly way to cross the San Diego River,” Gloria said. “This new bridge is going to make life easier for residents in our coastal communities, especially during busy summer months.”