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Cabrillo Bridge Reopens After 5-Month Maintenance Shutdown

Vintage automobiles cross the Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park after it was reo...

Photo by Christopher Maue

Above: Vintage automobiles cross the Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park after it was reopened after five months of maintenance.

The century-old Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park reopened to motor vehicles Monday following a five-month shutdown for maintenance.

The landmark overpass of state Route 163 had been closed to vehicles since the beginning of the year for a seismic retrofit project.

"This bridge will last for another hundred years, for generations of San Diegans to enjoy," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at a midday ceremony that took place shortly before cars and trucks were allowed through.

The project by Caltrans to strengthen the bridge will continue through the fall, but traffic is now allowed to cross the roadway and enter Balboa Park. The bridge had been open only to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Workers are reinforcing the bridge's seven pedestals with an integrated mesh of steel reinforcements that will make it more resilient during an earthquake.

The bridge was first built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the centennial of which will be commemorated next year.

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