SAN DIEGO — The City of San Diego has completed a historic bridge replacement project aimed at improving safety and accessibility on a busy route to popular beach areas.

On Tuesday, Mayor Todd Gloria’s office announced the achievement, which replaced the four-lane West Mission Bay Drive Bridge that was originally built in 1950. The structure had been declared functionally obsolete, officials said.

Now, the landmark bridge has two parallel structures that each have three lanes going one direction. The mayor’s office said the update will “improve safety conditions for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians on this busy corridor.”

On top of increasing the travel lanes from four to six, the mayor’s office explained that the project also provides new traffic signals and protected bike lanes separated by a barrier on both sides of the bridge, plus a separated pedestrian path.

“For almost seven decades, San Diegans and visitors to our great city have been coming over this bridge to access our beautiful beaches and Mission Bay, and now we have a structure that makes it a safer and more enjoyable trip,” said Mayor Gloria. “A project like this requires the highest levels of engineering and creativity to complete, along with a monumental investment from our federal government.”

The bridge replacement project began in 2018 with the majority of the funding coming through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Bridge Program, officials said. To break it down, about $138 million was provided toward the $148 million project, including $80 million from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“Bridges connect us to one another and to economic opportunity,” said Senior Advisor to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu. “Investing in American bridges and other infrastructure improves traffic flow, safety, resilience and our economic competitiveness. The West Mission Bay Drive Bridge project is further proof that President Biden’s investments in our infrastructure are making us stronger.”

This is the largest bridge replacement ever completed in City of San Diego history, said the mayor’s office. More information about the project can be found here.

According to city officials, these improvements align with San Diego’s 2022 Climate Action Plan goals of “increasing safe opportunities for cycling, walking and other non-automobile mobility options.”

The West Mission Bay Drive Bridge Replacement Project was managed by the city’s Engineering and Capital Projects Department.