City may have fix for 'dangerous' coastal bridge

Posted at 6:00 AM, Dec 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-19 14:20:27-05

San Diegans are continuing to ignore large warning signs forbidding them from crossing a closed bridge near La Jolla Cove.

The bridge, on the picturesque Coast Walk Trail just east of the cove, has been closed since heavy rains caused the nearby bluff slope to fail in February.

The city posted brown and yellow warning signs, reading "danger, cliff erosion, bridge closed," but many people are walking right by. One man said he's been crossing for months without incident, while another said he crossed after seeing others do the same. 

Michelle Gepshtein, however, decided not to cross after seeing the signs. She wanted to, but said the city needs to fix it first.

"It's about time they did," she said. "People want to walk across it. They come to it, they get disappointed, and they walk back."

After months of planning, the city now has a project to fix the problem - which lies in the slope just east of the bridge. It would realign 60 feet of the train, ten feet east of the bridge. It would also build a new staircase to replace a dilapidated one in that same area. 

City spokesman Anthony Santacroce said city workers would carry out the project, and didn't have a cost estimate. He said the city hopes to have the proper permits by February. 

"Design, review, interdepartmental coordination, funding and budgetary mapping, coastal/environmental regulations and securing permitting all contribute to a long, considered process to repairing the trail," he said. "Safety and thoroughness of the repair, not haste, is the priority."

Santacroce said the bridge will stay because it is still usable.