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New footbridge gets its footing over Newport’s Mariners Mile

OCC Mariners bridge
This enclosed footbridge placed Thursday night over West Coast Highway in Newport Beach will connect the Orange Coast College School of Sailing & Seamanship, right, with a new headquarters for the college’s professional mariner program under construction across the street.
(Courtesy of Jason Beadel / Theisen Steel)

A new footbridge spanning West Coast Highway in Newport Beach’s Mariners Mile is now in place.

The enclosed public bridge, a project of the Coast Community College District, was hoisted Thursday night, connecting the Orange Coast College School of Sailing & Seamanship at 1801 W. Coast Hwy. with a new headquarters for the college’s professional mariner program across the street. It also gives pedestrians an additional crossing option.

The bridge will break up a central half-mile stretch where there are no crosswalks on the busy thoroughfare. It is about a third of a mile east of the traffic light at Tustin Avenue and about a quarter-mile west of the Balboa Bay Club.

The bridge is about 120 feet long and 12 feet wide. The bottom of its deck is about 20 feet above the road, with a 10-foot clearance between the deck and the curved roof. Elevators and stairs will connect the bridge deck to the street level.

The professional mariner program, which trains students to be crew members on commercial and private vessels, broke ground on its new 12,000-square-foot headquarters in September. Construction on the training center is expected to be completed in fall 2021.

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