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Cardiff-by-the-Sea + Solana Beach connected by bridges over the estuary
How many of us wished that the San Elijo Lagoon trails might one day offer a through-hike experience? In early October the anticipated nature bridge connecting Cardiff-by-the-Sea + Solana Beach will be opened: bringing us one step closer to seeing that wish come true.
The new bridge will connect the Nature Center Loop Trail over San Elijo Lagoon’s Central Basin—and onto trails and open space, including Harbaugh Seaside Trails and Rios Trail in Solana Beach.
Above: Click to view time-lapse video of the nature bridge construction.
Above: View from the bridge where exploring the lagoon is now entering a new chapter with close-up views of marine life.
Buhr Nature Bridge—the section spanning from the nature center—is named in honor of the late Gabriel Buhr. Gabe was a champion for the health of our tidelands and ocean, and passionate voice to restore San Elijo Lagoon.
That connects to the Martin Nature Bridge, named in honor of the late Brian Martin, a renowned engineer and friend, whose contributions to this project were integral to its being.
The bridges are designed to meet California earthquake standards, and to withstand the elements of our coastal area.
Above: The color of the bridge represents native sandstone hues seen in upland areas of the lagoon, as does the LEED-Platinum San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center.
Photo by John Scales
Above: The bridges’ metal railings were designed to give the appearance of California cordgrass that grows across the wetlands. The railings mirror the design of the railings in the second-floor observation deck at the Nature Center, below:
We are nearing the completion of the San Elijo Lagoon Restoration Project, however the plant establishment period: the final grading of the new Least Tern habitat and other maintenance activities will continue into 2021.
When the bridge and the connecting trails open in early October they will be subject to periodic closures for public safety. Please check trail status before venturing out.
This new bridge will enhance our experiences and connect communities for generations to come.