Rose Creek Bridge: A Work in Progress

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by Robert Leone of the Knickerbikers, San Diego’s Bicycle Touring Club and board member at the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition


One of San Diego’s problems with bicycling infrastructure is the long gap of time between the conception of a project and its execution. A typical case is the Rose Creek Bikeway and Pedestrian Bridge. The San Diego Union-Tribune article notes this bridge has been studied, planned for, held up, in progress, on the table, and so on, for about 20 years. If you’re able to view multiple web pages at once, you might want to click on this link to an “artists [sic] rendering of the Rose Creek pedestrian bridge in Mission Bay Park.”

Make no mistake — the groundbreaking ceremony is a ceremony. It featured politicians in suits, wielding light gardening spades spray-painted gold, with an artistically arranged earth mover as a backdrop. That earth mover itself was a clean, nearly dust-free showpiece, with the construction equipment yellow equivalent of a pricey Joe Bell bicycle paint job. There were signs. There was press. There was a lot of dirt. And there was Mission Bay Park, tantalizingly out of reach across the mouth of Rose Creek, an urban waterway and flood control channel that is a primary drainage for University City. Annoyingly, there was no actual construction. Within an hour or so of the photographic opportunity for elected officials, the shiny, scratch-free tractor was being chained to a flatbed and whisked away. Would actual construction happen? Would non-motorized travelers through San Diego’s paved jungles get their long-planned path from the eastern end of Pacific Beach Drive into Mission Bay Park?

If you take a look above, you’ll see the Rose Creek Bridge as of the 28th of July, 2011. In three calendar months, piles have been driven and supporting girders welded into place. Wooden forms are under construction for the cement pour for the roadbed. And it’ll be wide, too. We can look forward to a facility for non-motorized travel that can accommodate joggers, dog-walkers, families on bikes, skateboarders, rollerbladers, hand-cyclists, and others who’d like to enjoy the many amenities of Mission Bay Park without braving the narrow sidewalk, curb steps, substandard width, steep slopes, sharp turns and rough pavement of the Rose Creek Bike Path between Mission Bay Drive and Grand Avenue, the freeway-frustrated motorized traffic on Grand Avenue itself, and the long door zone that is Olney Street. If you have that artist’s rendering from the first paragraph open, you can compare it to the actual bridge in the picture. There’s a lot of work left to be done, but it really is a work in progress.

By the way, below I’m including another, gratuitous picture from the 28th of July, showing Rose Creek Bridge construction. Enjoy!

Previously on Announcement of the Mission Bay Bridge Groundbreaking News Conference