David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge and Bike Path
This project breaks the boundaries of a defined landscape architecture. While it is easy to appreciate the Lake Hodges Pedestrian Bridge from the highway as you drive 60mph past, its true wonder lies in the experience of crossing it by foot. Upon approach, you are greeted with a vista of pedestrians and cyclists, however as you move across the bridge, subsequently dipping and rising along the way, you lose sight of others and at moments feel a sense of complete privacy with the bridge, and connection with the landscape surrounds. This gentle dipping and rising creates a "symbiotic relationship" between its sweeping design and the plains surrounding it. The jury found the bridge "graceful and sensitive," and was thoroughly impressed that a regional park system can take on something like this and make it so beautiful. One juror observed that it seamlessly blurs the lines between architecture, engineering, landscape architecture and art.
- Project Address: West Bernardo Drive, west of I-15 at Lake Hodges
- Project Owner/ Developer: San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority
- Owner Contact Name/ Email: Susan Carterfirstname.lastname@example.org
- Project Architect/ Designer: Safdie Rabines/T.Y. Lin International
The David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge, the world’s longest stress ribbon bridge, was opened to the public in May 2009. The bridge has an inside width of 12 feet and a total length of 990 feet between abutments. There are only two piers in the lake, creating three equal spans of 330 feet each. The stress-ribbon design achieves a bridge that is a thin ribbon of concrete with very low visual impact to its natural setting across the lake. At Lake Hodges, this structure type uses a 16 inch thick concrete deck to span 330 feet between supports for an amazing depth to span ratio of 1:248. The bridge can achieve such a remarkable depth to span ratio since it is actually a cable supported bridge with the bearing cables embedded within its concrete deck. The bridge was constructed by first building the abutments and piers, then pulling the bearing cables over the piers and anchoring them to the abutments. Once the bearing cables were stressed to the specified tension, 87 precast deck panels were hung from the bearing cables, which fit into longitudinal troughs formed into the panels, concrete was poured in the troughs and the cables were post-tensioned. The final step was the application of a textured surface to seal the seams between the 87 panels and provide a non-slip, attractive surface. Considerable effort went into the analysis and design of this bridge. However, the extra effort involved has resulted in a world-class bridge that complements its natural setting across Lake Hodges and within the San Dieguito River Park. The bridge was completed two years prior to the completion of the West Bernardo Bike Path that connects to it. During that two years, it was hard for many people to reach the bridge from the south, because there was no walking path available. There was no shoulder along the lake side of West Bernardo Drive and in fact there was a steep drop-off that extended for about 760 feet. The solution was the West Bernardo Bike Path, a 2,700 foot long bike path which now extends from the south abutment of the bridge up to the signal light at Rancho Bernardo Community Park. For a distance of 760 feet, the bike path is cantilevered over the lake to create a 12-foot width for pedestrians and cyclists. The West Bernardo Bike Path was opened to the public in February 2011. The combination of the two projects is a significant architectural achievement of grace and beauty which yet has a low impact on the sensitive scenic area in which it is located. The San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority is the owner and operator of the bridge and bike path. T.Y. Lin International is the Engineer of Record for the project. Jiri Strasky, Consulting Engineer, collaborated on the conceptual design and performed the independent design check for the bridge. Safdie Rabines Architects is responsible for the bridge's distinctive look.