Happy 40th Coronado Bridge!
Yesterday, San Diegans celebrated the 40th anniversary Coronado Bridge connecting drivers between Downtown and Coronado Island.
Designed by Robert Mosher, a now-retired architect living in La Jolla, construction on the concrete and steel span began in February 1967, and opened on August 3, 1969 – the iconic, architectural milestone coinciding with the 200th anniversary of San Diego. The final price tag was $50 million.
The bridge won the 1970 award from the American Institute of Steel Construction for “Most Beautiful Bridge”.
But due to seismic concerns and previous issues with other box girder spans, between $70-$150 million has been spent since completion to update and retrofit the 2.1 mile span.
Tolls for the bridge were originally $.60, then raised to $1 before being eliminated altogether in 2002. As of February of this year, however, rumblings of the toll being reinstated due to the city & state budget crisis have been making waves around the Coronado and Naval communities (NAS North Island is a major reason the bridge was built in the first place).
The Logan Heights side of the bridge provides canopy for Chicano Park, a famous Mexican Heritage park that was taken over non-violently in 1970 by the public following their outrage that a parking lot and CHP substation would be built on the land below the bridge that was promised to them by the City Council.
In addition to ballfields and playgrounds, the park has numerous outdoor murals (67 of them), sculptures and other pieces of artwork pertaining to Mexican heritage.
So do yourself a favor and take a drive this week over to Coronado. Here are some of the best vantage points: