National City Segment
The northern half of the National City segment was completed in February 2018 with
the construction of a separated bike path along Harbor Drive from the National
City boundary south to Civic Center Drive and Tidelands Avenue. The SANDAG
project also installed bike lanes on Tidelands Avenue and W. 32nd Street as an
interim facility while the Port District plans the final bike path connection
south of Civic Center Drive in conjunction with their plans for redevelopment
of the National City bayfront.
Palomar Street to H Street Segment
In March 2012, a 1.8 mile segment of the bikeway was completed by SANDAG in partnership with the City of Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego between Palomar Street and H Street in Chula Vista.
This segment was funded by Federal Transportation Enhancement funds and the regional TransNet half cent sales tax administered by SANDAG for a total cost of $2.5 million.
32nd Street to Vesta Street
In 2015, a 0.6-mile extension of the Bayshore Bikeway was completed along Harbor Drive between 32nd Street and Vesta Street. Built within the City of San Diego, this segment is the first phase of construction for a project that will eventually connect to the existing bike path in National City and the Gordy Shields Bridge over the Sweetwater River.
This segment was made possible by Federal Transportation Enhancement funds, funding from the California Coastal Conservancy, and the regional TransNet half cent sales tax administered by SANDAG for a total cost of $1.8 million.
Other Completed Segments
The first leg of the Bayshore Bikeway was built in 1976 when National City received $50,000 from SANDAG to widen the Chollas Creek Bridge on Harbor Drive. The following year, the Bay Route Bikeway Steering Committee was formed by the County of San Diego, and the cities of Coronado, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City, and San Diego. As a result of their efforts, the state Legislature passed SB 283, providing about $1 million for bikeway construction. By 1983, nearly $1.5 million had been spent to build the bikeway on unused railroad right-of-way along the Silver Strand in Coronado and on Harbor Drive in the City of San Diego.
Development of the bikeway gained further momentum when the Bayshore Bikeway Working Group was formed in 1989. The group consists of an elected official from the County of San Diego and each of the five cities around the bay, as well as representatives from the San Diego Unified Port District and the bicycling community. The group’s leadership has helped to complete the following projects, totaling more than $13 million in improvements:
- In 1993, the San Diego Unified Port District extended the Tidelands Park section of the path to the ferry landing in Coronado.
- In 1997, the City of Imperial Beach created the section of the bike path along the bayfront from 7th Street to 13th Street. This 1.2-mile project was constructed primarily within the old Coronado Branch Line of the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway right-of-way.
- In 1998, Caltrans built a half-mile connection between Marina Way in National City and the Sweetwater River Bikeway. This path passes under I-5 and the San Diego Trolley line at SR 54, allowing cyclists to ride east to Plaza Bonita.
- In 2004, a one-mile bridge and bike path opened at the SR 54/I-5 interchange, enabling bike riders to cross the Sweetwater River connecting National City and Chula Vista. The bridge was named in honor of long-time Bayshore Bikeway advocate and senior cycling champion Gordy Shields. Before the project was completed by Caltrans, riders had to travel east from the bayfront to cross the river on National City Boulevard. Now, they can ride along the bay within a right-of-way reserved for bicyclists and pedestrians, cutting their travel distance by more than two miles.
- In 2009, a 1.1-mile extension of the bikeway through the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge opened. Built by the City of San Diego, this segment provides a more direct route between Imperial Beach and Chula Vista, replacing the old route along Palm Avenue. The project extended the Imperial Beach section of the path at 13th Street to Main Street in Chula Vista, using a combination of former railroad right-of-way and berms along the Otay River. Two new bridges were built to span the Otay River channel and preserve existing historic railroad bridges.