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New Year Brings Light to SR-163 Cabrillo Bridge

SAN DIEGO – Caltrans plans to ring in the New Year by lighting up an historic San Diego landmark. The arches on the State Route 163 (SR-163) Laurel Street overcrossing, also known as the Cabrillo Bridge, will be illuminated at night beginning Wednesday.

The new lighting was installed as part of the joint Caltrans and city of San Diego Cabrillo Bridge Retrofit Project to seismically strengthen the structure originally built in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition.

“The work we are doing will help preserve this iconic structure for decades to come,” said Caltrans Deputy District Director for Structures Construction Dennis Wilder. “The lighting will showcase the graceful arches of this impressive ‘gateway to San Diego.’”

The lighting will continue the visual appreciation of the bridge into the evening hours and complement the adjacent California Tower–another historical icon of Balboa Park that is lighted at night.

Work began on the seismic retrofit and rehabilitation project in September 2013. The exterior work to upgrade the bridge deck and repair unsound concrete was completed in November. Interior work included installation of vertical post tensioning rods, reinforcing column walls, replacing utilities, and installing a catwalk system for future bridge maintenance. A new storm drain system was also installed as part of the project. Work to complete the catwalks continues inside the columns and is expected to wrap up by March 2015.