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Sunset, Coronado Bridge, San Diego

Bridgepixing the Coronado Bridge at Sunset, San Diego, California. Additional Bridge Photos and a Bridge Blog at


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, California with Coronado, California. The bridge is signed as part of California State Highway 75.


The 11,179-foot-long (3,407m) bridge ascends from Coronado at a 4.67 percent grade before curving 90 degrees toward San Diego. The span reaches a maximum height of 200 feet (61m), allowing even the tallest U.S. Navy ships which operate out of the nearby Naval Station San Diego to pass underneath it. The five-lane bridge features the longest box girder in the world.


The bridge was designed entirely and exclusively for motor-vehicle traffic: there are no pedestrian walkways, bike paths, or even shoulders ("breakdown lanes"). It has been said that the reason for this was to prevent persons from leaping off the bridge to commit suicide. However, between 1972 and 2000, more than 200 suicides occurred on the bridge [1]. Considering the volume of traffic on the bridge as of 2006, should a vehicle break down or encounter another problem, it will almost certainly cause a serious collision, as there is nowhere for the disabled vehicle to go, and no way for oncoming traffic (at the posted speed limit of 50 mph) to avoid it. Another defect of this design is that it is impossible to use a bicycle to cross San Diego Bay: cyclists must either transport their machines across on the ferry at a cost (April 2006) of $3.25 each way, or travel the (very) long way to or from Coronado via the Silver Strand.


The Coronado Bridge opened in 1969, with a $1 toll collected for traffic going westbound to Coronado. In 2002, it became the last toll bridge in Southern California to discontinue tolls. Although tolls are no longer collected, the toll booths on the Coronado side remain intact.


Aside from gaining notoriety for giving birth to the world famous Chicano Park (located beneath the bridge), in the 1980s the bridge helped further San Diego's identity as a separate and distinct city from its northern neighbor of Los Angeles when it was used as the visual centerpiece of the opening credits for the hit television show Simon & Simon, whose characters were private detectives in San Diego.


Coronado Bridge also gained notoriety from the movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004). In the scene that takes place on the bridge, Ron Burgundy throws a burrito out the window and hits a motorcyclist who then crashes. Instead of causing further car accidents, the angered motorcyclist confronts Ron Burgundy and proceeds to drop kick Ron Burgundy's dog, Baxter, over the side of the Coronado Bridge. (Wikipedia)

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Taken on December 31, 2006