One of the first things newcomers notice about San Diego is the dramatic curve of the Coronado Bridge spanning the bay between the city and the island of Coronado.? Opened in 1969, the bridge is both functional and beautiful to look at.? The distinctive towers and graceful curves of the bridge earned it the "Most Beautiful Bridge" Award of Merit from the American Institute of Steel Construction in 1970.
All of the braces and stiffeners for the bridge are contained in box girders, giving it a smooth exterior.? The concrete piles are driven over 100 feet into the bay in order to support the span.? The views from the bridge are breathtaking and virtually unobstructed--a significant distraction for drivers.? Built as a toll bridge, there is no longer any charge to use it.
There are five lanes of traffic available on the bridge with the center lane reserved for a safety median and a reversible lane that provides three lanes during rush hours.? The "zipper" used to accomplish this reversal is an engineering feat in itself.