The Coronado Bay Bridge expands over two miles above the San Diego Bay, connecting San Diego to Coronado, California. What makes it particularly beautiful is the fact that it is curved to allow for a more gradual decline from its two-hundred foot highest point. It was built tall enough to accommodate most US Navy ships, and yet not too steep for vehicles to ascend and descend. In 1970, it won the Most Beautiful Bridge Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction.
|CORONADO CAR FERRY|
SERVICE ENDED IN 1969
When it opened in 1969, the car ferry service ended. Between 1886 and 1969 there were car ferries between San Diego and Coronado that were built to accommodate passengers, horses, buggies, and later automobiles. The original Ferry Boat Booth still sits in Centennial Park as a reminder of days gone by.
Another unique feature of this magnificent bridge is that it was built exclusively for motor vehicle traffic, that means: no pedestrians, no walkways, and no bikepaths. I expect that this is what makes the Navy's Annual Bay Bridge Run/Walk so popular. This is the only time of the year that pedestrians are allowed on the bridge. It has become a San Diego tradition and this will be the 28th year for the celebration.
It is a great social event. It is not, however, totally appreciated by serious runners or walkers. Participants are encouraged to bring their cameras, and believe me, they were stopping all over the place taking photos of the panoramic views, and whoever was with them, which included plenty of children and babies in strollers.
The walk/run is four miles long and begins at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel and ends at Tidelands Park in Coronado. My leisurely, one-hour and forty-minute walk, was not record-setting, but I did enjoy the scenery and photo ops like everyone else. The skies were cloudy and the air was cool, perfect for exercising, but not the best for picture taking.
I found the beginning of the walk interesting. It followed along Harbor Drive and under the bridge through Chicano Park which offered a view of interesting murals painted on the bridge supports. This park contains the largest collection of Chicano art murals in the world. Live entertainment by a mariachi band added to the festivity.
|CHICANO ART MURALS|
|CHICANO ART MURALS|
Once we arrived at the bridge, there was a gentle uphill slope for the first mile and after that it was downhill. Traffic lanes on the north side were still open, and the passing cars frequently honk and wave at the participants.
At the foot of the bridge, we enjoyed a pleasant walk along the golf course in Coronado and music from a Navy band.
Finally, a celebration at Tidelands Park with a live band, cold water, bananas, protein bars and T-shirts for everyone. There were booths promoting various products, some with free samples, and free massages. The closing award presentations followed.
For those returning to San Diego, there were free ferry and bus rides.