San Diego–Coronado Bridge
|San Diego–Coronado Bridge|
|Carries||5 lanes of SR 75|
|Crosses||San Diego Bay|
|Locale||San Diego and Coronado, California|
|Design||Prestressed concrete/steel bridge|
|Total length||11,179 feet (3,407 m) or 2.1 miles (3.4 km)|
|Longest span||1,880 feet (573 m)|
|Clearance below||200 feet (61 m)|
|Construction cost||$47.6 million USD|
|Opened||August 3, 1969|
The San Diego–Coronado Bridge, locally referred to as the Coronado Bridge, is a "prestressed concrete/steel" girder bridge, crossing over San Diego Bay in the United States, linking San Diego with Coronado, California. The bridge is signed as part of State Route 75.
The 11,179-foot-long (3,407 m or 2.1 mi) bridge ascends from Coronado at a 4.67 percent grade before curving 80 degrees toward San Diego. The span reaches a maximum height of 200 feet (61m), allowing the U.S. Navy ships which operate out of the nearby Naval Station San Diego to pass underneath it. The five-lane bridge featured the longest box girder in the world until it was surpassed by a bridge in Chongqing, China in 2008. The bridge does not form a direct path to Coronado, but rather has a curve. This was done so it would be high enough for all U.S. Navy ships to pass underneath but not too steep for vehicles to ascend and descend.
Construction on the San Diego–Coronado Bay Bridge started in February 1967, and opened to traffic on August 3, 1969, during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of San Diego
Tolls and tollbooths 
Originally, the toll was $0.60 in each direction. Several years later, this was changed to a $1.20 toll collected for traffic going westbound to Coronado only. Although the bridge was supposed to become "toll-free" once the original bridge bond was paid (which occurred in 1986), the tolls continued for sixteen additional years. On June 27, 2002, it became the last toll bridge in Southern California to discontinue tolls, despite objections from some residents that traffic to the island would increase. The original toll booths on the Coronado side remained intact for a short while, and were temporarily replaced with newer, more modern-looking toll booths for the filming of a car commercial in April 2007. The islands upon which the toll booths sat, as well as the canopy over the toll plaza area, are still intact, located at the western end of the bridge in the westbound lanes. Though tolls are no longer collected, beginning February 19, 2009 there was talk of resuming westbound toll collection to fund major traffic solutions and a tunnel.
Lanes and traffic 
The bridge contains five lanes: two eastbound, two westbound, and a reversible middle lane with a moveable barrier system which can be used to create a third lane in either direction in response to traffic volume. The eastern end of the bridge connects directly to a T interchange with Interstate 5, just southeast of downtown San Diego. It is designated and signed as part of California State Highway 75. The bridge was designed entirely and exclusively for motor vehicle traffic; there are no pedestrian walkways, bike paths, or shoulders ("breakdown lanes"). Beginning in 2008, cyclists have the once-a-year opportunity to ride over the bridge in the Bike the Bay "fun ride".
The pillars supporting the bridge on the eastern end are painted with huge murals as part of Chicano Park, the largest collection of Chicano art murals in the world. This neighborhood park and mural display were created in response to a community uprising in 1970, which protested the negative effects of the bridge and Interstate 5 on the Barrio Logan community. Local artist Salvador Torres proposed using the bridge and freeway pillars as a giant canvas for Chicano art at a time when urban wall murals were rare in the United States, and he and many other artists created the murals when permission for the park was finally granted in 1973.
Suicide bridge 
It is the third deadliest suicide bridge in the USA, trailing only the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Aurora Bridge in Seattle. Between 1972 and 2000, more than 200 suicides occurred on the bridge. Signs have been placed on the bridge urging potential suicides to call a hotline.
One "suicide" was later determined to be a murder. Authorities determined that Jewell P. Hutchings, 52, of Cerritos had been forced to jump at gunpoint; her husband, James Albert Hutchings, was subsequently charged with murdering her and pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
General facts 
||This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (June 2011)|
- Principal architect: Robert Mosher
- Opened on August 3, 1969
- In 1970, it won the Most Beautiful Bridge Award from American Institute of Steel Construction
- 3.4 kilometres (2.1 mi) long
- cost $50 million to build
- retrofitting cost $70–150 million
- 20,000 tons of steel (13,000 tons in structural steel and 7,000 in reinforcing steel)
- 94,000 cubic yards of concrete
- 900,000 cubic yards of dredged fill
- some caissons for the towers were drilled and blasted 100 feet into the bed of the San Diego Bay
- 4.67% grade from Coronado to San Diego
- side railings are concrete blocks only 34 inches high
Over 50 people worked to maintain the bridge and take tolls; tolls have since been discontinued.
The grade, 200 foot clearance at peak, and the 90-degree angle turn is to create clearance for an empty oil-fired aircraft carrier to pass beneath it – it is not sufficient for Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carriers.
The bridge is the third largest orthogonal box in the country – the box is the center part of the bridge, between piers 18 and 21 over the main shipping channel.
Urban legend 
A decades-old local urban legend claims the center span of the bridge was engineered to float in the event of collapse, allowing Naval ships to push the debris and clear the bay. The construction of the 1,880-foot-long center span as a hollow box of steel-reinforced concrete may have contributed to the development of the myth, but Caltrans and the bridge's principal architect, Robert Mosher, maintain that the legend is false.
Selected photos 
See also 
- American Segmental Bridge Institute[dead link]
- "San Diego–Coronado Bridge". California Department of Transportation. February 26, 1999. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "Frequent Questions", Coronado Visitor Center. Retrieved on December 18, 2009.
- "San Diego Union Tribune, Feb. 19, 2009". .signonsandiego.com. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- Bike the Bay webpage
- Kevin Delgado (Winter 1998). "A Turning Point: The Conception and Realization of Chicano Park". Journal of San Diego History. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- LINDA GIBSON (17 July 1999). "Bridge phones offer a new lifeline; Solar-powered phones have been installed on the Skyway to offer direct help for those contemplating suicide". St. Petersburg Times. Sptimes.com. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- Suzy Hagstrom (Oct. 12, 2000). "Through the Air into Darkness". San Diego Reader. Text "http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2000/oct/12/through-air-darkness/" ignored (help)
- Suzy Hagstrom (Oct. 5, 2000). "A Big Message". San Diego Reader. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Kyle, Keegan (6 January 2011). "Fact Check: A Bomb Resistant, Floating Coronado Bridge?". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
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