Georgia Street Bridge Historical Resource Technical Report


San Diego, CA

The Georgia Street Bridge was designed and constructed by local civil engineer James R. Comly in 1914. The design follows closely the principles of the Beaux Art/American City Beautiful Movement. The bridges 69-foot-long by 30-foot-wide asphalt covered reinforced concrete deck and associated retaining walls create a grade separation allowing traffic to cross over and under the bridge. Both the bridge and retaining walls were placed on the National Register of Historic Places (NR) on February 12, 1999. They were automatically listed in the California Register of Historical Resources as a result of the National Register listing. The City of San Diego Historical Resources Board, in 1994, designated the Bridge and Retaining Walls as Historical Site Number 325.

As a result of deferred maintenance combined with a slow rate of inherent structural failure, the Georgia Street Bridge fell into a state of disrepair. IS Architecture was consulted to prepare a Historical Resource Technical Report which analyzes proposed alternatives to the seismic retrofit and rehabilitation of the Georgia Street Bridge. During the writing of this report, IS Architecture worked closely with the project engineer, Simon Wong Engineering and City of San Diego staff, to review the various elements of the project and identify options which would balance the goals of retrofitting and rehabilitating the bridge with preserving its historic character. Based on the preferred alternative which was ultimately developed during this process, this report evaluates the potential effects of the rehabilitation on the historic value of the bridge and associated structures including retaining walls which extend beyond the abutment beneath the bridge in accordance with procedures contained in the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The report was used by the City of San Diego as part of the environmental documentation prepared to satisfy the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Similarly, the information from this report is intended to be used by Caltrans as part of the documentation for the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

Prior work includes a Section 106 review of the potential replacement or reconstruction of the Georgia Street Bridge, prepared for the City of San Diego with the collaboration of Caltrans. One member of a four-member team providing a Historic Resource Evaluation Report meeting Caltrans standards. IS Architecture was the Consultant Architect for Historic Preservation, and was responsible for field reconnaissance survey, mapping of the Area of potential effect, evaluation of integrity and significance and preparation of the architectural record.