San Elijo Lagoon and Pedestrian Bridges

San Elijo Lagoon and Pedestrian Bridges

San Diego, California
United States
San Elijo Lagoon and Pedestrian Bridges

TYLin served as Lead Designer and Project Manager for the San Elijo Lagoon and Pedestrian Bridges in San Diego, California.

Increasing resilience for San Diego’s coastal communities, the San Elijo Lagoon and Pedestrian Bridges improve the quality of life for coastal communities by alleviating traffic congestion on Interstate 5 (I-5) and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  

The San Elijo Lagoon Bridge is longer and wider than the bridge it replaced to facilitate capacity improvements on I-5 and tidal flushing of San Elijo Lagoon to enable restoration. Restoration of the lagoon included mudflats, tidal dredging, and beach sand replenishment.  

The San Elijo Pedestrian Bridge is suspended from I-5 and spans the lagoon. Connecting Encinitas and Cardiff, the crossing provides unprecedented pedestrian access to a larger coastal bike path and trail network around the lagoon. TYLin was responsible for the structural engineering and architectural design coordination for the project.  

The San Elijo Lagoon Bridge and Pedestrian Bridge project is a part of the North Coast Corridor (NCC) Program, which will improve highway, rail, bike, and pedestrian mobility along the 27-mile corridor, from La Jolla to Oceanside. TYLin was integral to the development of the NCC Design Guidelines. The guidelines are the framework for the design of all I-5 infrastructure along the Corridor and were developed in partnership with California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 11 and San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). 

Project Highlights: 

  • Deliverables included project development documents, preliminary engineering (including public meetings), final design, and construction support. 
  • To restore environmental niches lost during I-5 construction decades earlier, the project included restoration of the entire San Elijo Lagoon.  
  • TYLin’s design for a longer bridge enabled the lagoon restoration by allowing the lagoon hydraulics to operate in a more natural state. 
  • The project included enhanced wetlands and uplands in the east and west basins to return wildlife habitats and help improve tidal flow for future sea-level rise. 

Images credit: Pablo Mason, 


Outstanding Architectural Engineering Project, 2023
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) San Diego Section