Statement: The center span of the Coronado Bay Bridge was designed to float in the event of a bombing, according to local urban legend.
Analysis: When we asked readers to pinpoint local urban legends, this decades old storyline surfaced: The center section of the Coronado Bay Bridge is designed to float. That way, if the bridge were bombed, the Navy could easily push the largest pieces of the bridge aside and still exit the bay.
Caltrans, which oversees the bridge’s maintenance, has consistently denied the tale. It “was not designed with that in mind,” spokesman Steven Saville told Coronado Lifestyle for a story about the bridge’s 40th anniversary last year. “It would float like a stone.”
Structural engineering experts agree with Caltrans. Though the 1,880-foot-long center section of the bridge is hollow, the circumstances that would allow it to fall 200 feet and somehow still float are beyond improbable.