Constructed in 1933, the historic North Torrey Pines Road Bridge had been declared structurally deficient by Caltrans and required significant seismic upgrades to meet current standards. With the goal of preserving this historic resource, Kleinfelder|Simon Wong Engineering designed a specialized retrofit strategy that allowed for minimal change to the visual character of the structure while providing a seismically stable design.
The bridge is a main thoroughfare for bicyclists and motorists, provides an emergency evacuation route for residents and tourists, and is the focal point of a designated scenic corridor. The bridge had to be retrofitted and repaired or demolished and rebuilt to bring it up to current earthquake standards. With valuable input from the community and a variety of experts who participated in a week-long value engineering study, a retrofit and rehabilitation plan was selected, which improved the bridge’s functional capacity while preserving its historic visual characteristics and minimizing impacts to the community, adjacent environmentally sensitive wetlands, and to the railroad. The bridge remained open during the majority of construction and the community was notified to use alternate routes during scheduled closures.
Kleinfelder|Simon Wong Engineering was able to preserve this important piece of history, ensuring that this landmark structure lasts for at least another 50 years of public use and appreciation. Once labeled by the press as “the most structurally insufficient bridge in San Diego County,” rehabilitation and retrofit of this historic bridge is finally complete after three years of construction and more than a decade of complicated technical, seismic, and environmental studies. The resulting retrofit is an elegant and redundant earthquake resisting system that preserves the historic qualities of the bridge.
“Every day these firms work in collaboration with public and private sectors and state and local agencies to help build a better California,” said Brad Diede ACEC California Executive Director. “It’s with great accolade that we honor their work.”