Coronado Bridge Readies for New "Zipper" After 18 Years - Plan for Traffic

Update from the City of Coronado:

In response to concerns about traffic congestion on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge Sunday, Caltrans announced Monday that it will begin nightly work to swap out the Movable Concrete Barrier one hour later during the week, and two hours later on Sunday. Commuters and residents complained Monday about backups on the bridge because of the Caltrans project, which began at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Visitors typically pack Coronado’s beaches, parks and shops during the busy summer months. Work will now begin at 8 p.m. weeknights, and at 9 p.m. on Sunday. The project is expected to take no more than two weeks to complete and involves reducing lanes and closing ramps on and off the bridge. During that time, there will be one lane open in each direction, and no lane closures will take place overnight on Friday or Saturday. Caltrans also announced it will place electronic signs around the bridge to advise drivers of the work and potential delays. Questions related to the traffic impacts may be directed to Caltrans at (619) 688-6723.


The below video (shot by TheCoronadoclarion) shows the new lane barrier (aka the "zipper") and transport machines that will be used to move the "transition wall" between inbound and outbound lanes on the Coronado Bridge.  It's been 18 years since it's been replaced. has already received calls and emails about traffic backing up, so please plan ahead.

Notice from Caltrans:

SAN DIEGO – One lane in each direction will be closed on the Coronado Bridge to replace the two Movable Concrete Barrier Machines and the Moveable Concrete Barrier, according to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The work will be performed between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and is expected to take less than two weeks to complete.

The nighttime closure includes the northbound Interstate 5 connector ramps to and the bridge, as well as the connector ramp from the bridge to Cesar E. Chavez Parkway/Logan Avenue. Detour signs will be posted to assists motorists around the work.

The Moveable Concrete Barrier was last replaced in 1993. It is moved four times a day Monday through Friday and special events on weekends. It takes about 35 minutes to move on a typical day.

The work is taking place at night because of the high traffic volume during daylight hours. If you see a Caltrans or other emergency vehicle on the side of the highway with its flashing light, move over if safe to do so, or slow down. It’s the law!


Related:  Photos of the Zipper in action courtesy of Donal Hill.

Views: 848

Tags: bridge, community, traffic

Comment by Buzz Fink on July 30, 2011 at 9:50pm

Thanks for the video description of why they are changing out the portable barriers.  It was great.


Here are some photos I took of the barriers today.


Comment by eCoronado on July 30, 2011 at 11:24pm
Buzz, great photos - gotta love instant contribution!  We just updated the article with a few more links to photos and a 'zipper-ride-along'.
Comment by Howard Roarke on July 31, 2011 at 12:26pm
Nearly two years ago I was taking the ferry back to Coronado when I spoke to a person from the company who manufacturered the "zipper." The representative mentioned that they finally were able to get Caltrans to purchase the machines after quite some time and, that the old equipment required two machines (plus two operators) vs. the new machine that only requires one machine and one driver. Why, when we're in this fiscal crunch, didn't we think about this earlier as a way of saving a lot of money. Think about fuel for two, salary for two, benefits for two, etc.?
Comment by David Fenner on August 1, 2011 at 12:42pm

Why?  Because when you have paid for what you already have, you do not necessarily go out and spend more money, when you are in a fiscal crunch, as you say.    Just like my wife goes to a sale and spends xxxx $$ and then comes home and says 'look how much money I saved" 

If ain't broke, don't fix it.

Comment by Len & Anne Kaine on August 1, 2011 at 12:52pm

After the Rockola concert Sunday night it took an hour and 30 minutes to drive from the park area to the Commodore Condos at 333 Orange Avenue.

Living in Coronado for 40 years it was the worst traffic we can ever remember.   Patience was a virtue.

Cheers and thanks for the report.

Len & Anne Kaine

Comment by Erin Grady Brown on August 1, 2011 at 1:10pm
I'm happy to hear that the new barriers don't move like the old ones did... I saw an accident and I was surprised to see how far the barrier moved into the other traffic lanes. Fiscal responsibility is extremely important, but you can't put a cost on human lives, which could be saved by safer equipment.

Comment (keep it clean & on topic)

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