Caltrans to begin work on Cabrillo Bridge Retrofit soon; Cabrillo Bridge to be closed to vehicular traffic from January 2014 – April 2014

Cabrillo Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic from January 2014 – April 2014 while Caltrans works to improve the structural integrity of Cabrillo Bridge. Photo: BikeSD Member Michael Brennan

I guess a car-free Cabrillo Bridge is in your future sooner than you thought.

Seth Cutter, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator at Caltrans sent in an email stating that Caltrans, in conjunction with the City of San Diego, will begin a rehabilitation and seismic retrofit project of the Cabrillo Bridge this summer.

The purpose of this project is to improve the structural integrity of the Cabrillo Bridge but in the process the project will preserve a beautiful, historical and important City icon.

The project will begin in summer of 2013 and end summer of 2014. Some of the traffic road closures on the freeway (State Route 163) will be routine. Laurel Street is the bridge road deck that leads into Balboa Park from 6th Avenue and points west. This deck will be closed to vehicular traffic from January 2014 through April 2014. Work on the roadway/deck surface will be conducted in stages allowing for pedestrians and bicyclists to access the park through clearly-marked passageways either on the right, left or center of the road.

Cutter emphasized that bicycle riders and pedestrians would not be prohibited from using Cabrillo Bridge during the retrofit.

Project Manager Lou Melendez is soliciting input and ideas from the public to make the road closures as convenient as possible for all park visitors and customers. You may reach Melendez by phone at (619) (688-3328) or via email at

One way to ensure this retrofit gets its full value is to ensure that the bridge remains closed to vehicular traffic once the retrofit is complete. This will ensure that the structural integrity lasts longer than it would with heavy vehicles trundling over an old, narrow bridge into Balboa Park.

Below is more information about the retrofit to begin this summer. Click the images for a bigger version.