City Council approves West Mission Bay Drive bridge replacement plan
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 11/15/17 - 03:21 PM | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A plan nearly two decades in the making to replace the decrepit West Mission Bay Drive bridge over the San Diego River was unanimously approved Nov. 14 by the City Council.

The $155 million project will replace the 1950-era four-lane bridge that connects the Midway area and Mission Bay Park with two three-lane bridges. Up to $140 million of that sum will come from federal grants. The remainder will be paid for by the city.

The West Mission Bay Drive Bridge was constructed in the early 1950s to meet the demands and standards of its time. It was built with four travel lanes, 5-foot-wide sidewalks, concrete pier walls on timber piles and a concrete median barrier. Because the daily traffic volume on the bridge exceeds its current capacity, the California Department of Transportation evaluated and classified the bridge as functionally obsolete. 

The existing bridge will be replaced with two three-lane parallel structures for both northbound and southbound traffic. This project is federally funded through the Federal Highway Administration Highway Bridge Program. The project is located on West Mission Bay Drive between Interstate 8 and Sea World Drive, approximately 1.25 miles west of the Interstate 5/Interstate 8 (I-5/I-8) interchange within the City of San Diego.

Once complete, the project will replace the existing four-lane bridge with two separate three-lane structures, providing an improved transportation link across the San Diego River. 

The improvements include:

• Two new parallel bridge structures with three travel lanes in each direction;

•  A class 1 (completely separated right of way) bike path on both bridges.

•  Roadway widening and improvements along Sports Arena Boulevard, West Mission Bay Driveand westbound;

I-8 off-ramp; and

• Additional architectural features.

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