Shackelford continues her explanation. "And building a three-lane bridge is what we have to do in order to keep the traffic moving [in the future]. It backs up every day; everybody knows that. So the bridge was designed for the three lanes, and that is what we are pursuing."
Bob Lewis, former chairman of the Torrey Pines Planning Commission, doesn't buy the traffic-flow arguments. "Traffic circulation will not improve," he says. "The choke point will still be there because Del Mar has made the statement, 'We will not widen our bridge.' "
Shackelford concedes that Del Mar has no plans to widen the north bridge. "They had it named a historical landmark," she says, "and their plan, when I last spoke to them, was to retrofit the existing bridge."
Owens, Gilleskie, and Bergen all speculate that the City of San Diego is building the wider bridge in the belief that Del Mar will someday relent and widen its bridge. Shackelford declines to address such speculation directly but offers, "This bridge that we are building will have a life span of 75 to 100 years."