Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge

Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge

San Diego, California
United States
harbor drive

TYLin designed the Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge in San Diego, California, working closely with the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC).

The signature footbridge 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. 

At 550 feet long and one of the longest self-anchored, suspension bridges in the world, the Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge is designed to provide a safe, elevated footbridge for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the busy Harbor Drive and existing train and trolley tracks.  

After developing and presenting four structural concepts - a steel space truss, a cable-stayed bridge, a self-anchored suspension bridge, and an arched steel shell - TYLin’s self-anchored suspension bridge design was selected for its aesthetics, cost, and suitability for the site. 

TYLin’s vision for the bridge incorporated simple, clean lines that enhance and enable unobstructed, 360-degree views of its beautiful San Diego environs. The design also considered aesthetic and cost-effective design elements that can be appreciated by the pedestrians strolling over the iconic structure.  

With a main span of 354 feet, the bridge features a 131-foot-high pylon and a curved deck suspended only along the inside edge. The pylon is inclined at a 60-degree angle and leans over the deck to support the single pair of suspension cables. A total of 34 individual suspenders, which are attached to the main cable, support the 20-foot-wide deck from the top of the railing.  

TYLin’s services included design, construction engineering and inspection, construction phase services, seismic analysis and design. 

Project Highlights: 

  • TYLin’s design for the grade-separated pedestrian crossing was selected as a clear community favorite for both its visual aesthetics and its transparent profile. 
  • The Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge is one of the longest bridges utilizing duplex stainless structural steel due to its proximity to San Diego Bay. 
  • Aesthetic design elements include architectural concrete finishes, textured walking surfaces, stainless steel hand railings, 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. 

Image credit: Brooke Duthie Photography



Judges Award, 2013
American Concrete Institute (ACI) San Diego Chapter
National Grand Award,
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