Many thanks to CBS 8 San Diego for this “throwback video” that features the San Diego – Coronado Bridge dedication in 1969:
The 47-million-dollar structure rising 250 feet above the water at its highest point was dedicated with a combination of hoopla and nostalgia. A parade of horseless carriages became the first official vehicles to make the bay crossing. And as the antique autos clattered overhead, a parade of small boats crossed underneath the span. There were no evidences today of the active opposition that the bridge inspired when former governor Edmund G. Brown okayed its construction before leaving office. Governor Reagan made note of that talking to a crowd of two thousand at the ceremonies. The mayors of two cities linked by the bridge, San Diego’s Frank Curran and Coronado’s William Paul Vetter, unveiled a plaque at the toll plaza on the Coronado side. Then Curran and Vetter symbolically raised one of the bridge toll gates declaring it open for the public to look at.
Later at a luncheon at the Hotel Del Coronado, Governor Ronald Reagan hailed the bridge as the loveliest in the land. He also said the bridge is part of a proposed tribute to the first men on the moon. Reagan noted that the bridge may have already saved one life. A day before yesterday firemen used it to rush a prematurely born baby from San Diego to the hospital in Coronado. When the bridge opens at midnight tonight the public won’t be allowed to stop or get out of their cars. So, the span was opened for public inspection this afternoon. Navy amphibious vehicles and British double decker busses transported visitors to the crest of the bridge for their first and last opportunity to sightsee and take pictures. Beginning at 12 pm there will be no stopping and the 60-cent toll goes into effect.
George Lewis reporting for TV 8 News.
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