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Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge

San Diego, California

Market Sector



Pedestrian, Suspension

Services Provided

Design, Construction Engineering and Inspection, Construction Phase Services, Seismic Analysis and Design



In The News

Photo Credit: Brooke Duthie Photography
Photo Credit: Brooke Duthie Photography
Photo Credit: Brooke Duthie Photography

The Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge is a $26.8-million bridge designed to provide a safe, elevated footbridge for pedestrians and bicyclists over the busy Harbor Drive and existing train and trolley tracks. At 550 feet—one of the longest self-anchored, suspension bridges in the world—the new landmark signature footbridge now serves as a southern gateway to downtown San Diego and fulfills the City’s 100-year vision to link two of its important regional assets: Balboa Park and San Diego Bay.

Project Highlights:

  • One of the longest self-anchored pedestrian suspension bridges in the world.
  • One of the longest bridges utilizing duplex stainless structural steel for its proximity to San Diego Bay.
  • TYLI’s design was selected as a clear community favorite for both its visual aesthetics and its transparent profile.
  • A cornerstone of downtown San Diego’s development and an iconic gateway to the city.

Designed by TYLI, the firm worked closely with the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) on the project, which created a grade-separated pedestrian crossing of six railroad tracks and of Harbor Drive, a four-lane major arterial. After developing four structural concepts, including steel space truss, a cable-stayed bridge, a self anchored suspension bridge and an arched steel shell, and presenting them to the various stakeholders involved, T.Y. Lin International’s self-anchored suspension bridge design was selected for its aesthetics, cost and suitability for the site.

With a main span of 354 feet, the graceful, single-cable self-anchored suspension bridge features a 131-ft. tall pylon and a curved deck that is suspended only along the inside edge. The pylon itself is inclined at a 60º angle and leans over the deck to support the single pair of suspension cables. Thirty four individual suspenders, which are attached to the main cable, support the 20-ft. wide deck from the top of the railing.

T.Y. Lin International’s vision for the Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge incorporated simple, clean lines that enhance and enable unobstructed, 360 degree views of its beautiful San Diego environs. The design also took into account aesthetic and cost-effective design elements that can be appreciated by the pedestrians strolling over the iconic structure. This included architectural concrete finishes and textured walking surfaces, as well as stainless steel hand railings and stainless steel aircraft cable mesh for the safety screening and indirect deck lighting. Other project amenities include custom hardscape and landscape at the bridge landing plazas and the central pylon area.

Judges Award, 2013
American Concrete Institute (ACI) San Diego Chapter
National Grand Award, 2012
American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
Outstanding Project Award, New Bridge and Transportation Structures, 2012
National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA)
Award of Citation, Urban Solutions, 2012
American Institute of Architects San Diego (AIA SD)
Project of the Year, 2012
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), San Diego Section
Honor Award, 2012
American Council of Engineering Companies of California (ACEC-CA)
Award of Excellence, Public Spaces & Linkages, 2012
California Redevelopment Association
Globe Award, 2011
American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)
Best of the Best Award, 2011
Engineering News-Record (ENR)
Best Transportation Project Award, 2011
Engineering News-Record (ENR), California
Transportation Innovation Award for Alternative Modes, 2011
Womens Transportation Seminar (WTS)
Project of the Year, 2011
American Public Works Association (APWA), San Diego Chapter
Award of Excellence, Urban Infrastructure, 2011
Urban Land Institute (ULI), San Diego/Tijuana District Council
Merit Award for Architecture, 2011
American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC)
Be Inspired Award, Finalist, 2010