San Diego CCI preview: Pedestrian bridge sails over train tracks

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We had this bookmarked a while ago but it is finally final: The pedestrian bridge over Harbor Drive just outside the San Diego Convention Center
has opened, just in time for Padres season — and Comic-Con! Far from being a simple, utilitarian walkway to prevent pedestrians being hit by a car, trolley or train, the Harbor Drive Bridge is an ambitious structure that has already been nominated for design awards. At 550 feet, it’s one of the longest self-anchored pedestrian suspension bridges in the world, and rising 25 feet in the air presents a soaring, nautical walkway that runs from Petco Park to the Bayfront Hilton, all suspended from a 130-ft high pylon.

The pedestrian bridge was long considered necessary for several reasons, including frequent stoppages for trolleys, and long stoppages at the light for interminable freight trains that once kept Kate Beckinsale from making her panel at Comic-Con on time.

The bridge will also allow you to bypass the increasingly carnival-like madhouse of promotion at the Fifth St./Harbor Drive intersection.

Of note for Convention Center-watchers who are pondering the planned expansion — if the bridge is any indication, don’t plan on a timely completion for that still-not-started project: The bridge was supposed to take a year to build and cost $12 million. In reality it took 2 1/2 years and cost $26.8 million. More local reaction.
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Comments

  1. Considering where that bridge is located, I’m not sure if anybody is going to use it unless police forbid people from crossing at the usual crossing points.

  2. To use the bridge one must walk all the way down past the eastern end of the Convention Center, then back west along Harbor Blvd to get to the Gaslamp District restaurants and hotels.

    I suppose it will draw off some of the traffic from the notorious 5th Street crossing, but I see this is more of a utility for the baseball stadium than for the Convention Center.

  3. I was at the Bayfront Hilton a couple of weeks ago, and this bridge leads right off it. It’s lovely. At night, the risers of all the steps are illuminated: it’s like showtime at the Folies Bergere.

  4. Sean D. says:

    I was going to say “Steps? Well that should keep the Pedi-Cabs off of it,” but then I remembered some of the rides I’ve taken.

  5. Jackie Estrada says:

    There’s also an elevator for those who need it.

  6. Red Stapler says:

    I predict some epic Torchwood cosplay photos on that bridge.

  7. mpneeb says:

    >>Considering where that bridge is located, I’m not sure if anybody is going to use it unless police forbid people from crossing at the usual crossing points.<<

    It's close to Hall H, the movie studio exhibits, and some of the best parking* you're going to find.
    It'll get used.
    Whether it relieves some of the pressure on the crossings at 1st and 5th Aves is yet to be determined.

    *Assuming it isn't eliminated by the proposed Football stadium.

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