Del Mar celebrated the completion of 3 1/2 years of work to restore the historic Torrey Pines Bridge on Tuesday with a display of classic cars and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Mayor Lee Haydu described the bridge as “one of the few remaining examples of coastal cast-concrete bridges in California.”

“We were able to preserve an important piece of history,” she told a crowd of nearly 100 gathered for the ceremony. “It’s is also a work of art.”

The 80-year-old bridge was suffering from severe corrosion due to salt air, with pieces of concrete falling off, when Del Mar purchased it for $1 from the City of San Diego in 1996. It became the city’s largest capital project.

With $21 million in funding, the majority from Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration, the bridge was seismically retrofitted while keeping it’s Gothic design.

The 550-foot-long bridge remained open to vehicle and train traffic at most times during the restoration process.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.