This award-winning bridge quickly became an area landmark after its opening on August 3, 1969. The distinctive curve and soaring sweep of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge was the first structural conquest of San Diego Bay, joining the Island of Coronado and City of San Diego.
The 2.12-mile (11,179-foot) long bridge interchanges with Interstate 5 in San Diego and becomes Route 75 in Coronado. With a vertical clearance of approximately 200 feet, the tallest ships can pass beneath it.
Construction of the $50 million bridge began in February 1967. Its distinctive towers and graceful curve brought it the "Most Beautiful Bridge" Award of Merit from the American Institute of Steel Construction in 1970.
Beginning at the specially designed toll plaza in Coronado, the traffic ascends at a 4.67 percent grade, curving 80 degrees toward San Diego. Clusters of submerged piles support the 30 mission-arch shaped curving 90 degrees toward San Diego. Clusters of submerged piles support the 30 mission-arch shaped concrete piers. The 54-inch diameter piles were driven and jetted to depths of 100 feet in the Bay's bottom.
All of the braces and stiffeners for the bridge are inside the box girder, providing the slender super-structure with a smooth exterior. The 34-inch high barrier railing is safety designed to redirect vehicles back onto the roadway with little or no damage, and low enough to permit an unobstructed view while crossing the bridge.
The center lane of the five-lane roadway is reserved as a safety median and a reversible lane to provide three lanes of peak-hour traffic.