Every old city has its unique elements, but San Diego’s Spruce Street Suspension Bridge is a particularly peculiar element of its early 20th century heritage. This pedestrian-only bridge crosses a ravine between two residential areas with a shaky, unstable footpath.
Before modern times most city bridges were built with rigidity in mind. The first suspension bridges however were constructed more like early rope bridges, where a little swaying was tolerated.
Here in modern day San Diego the Spruce Street Suspension pedestrian bridge is still there, it’s weird by modern standards, and it’s even more unsettling after sunset. So that’s when I went.
In the dark of night I could feel the bridge sway under my feet yet I couldn’t tell how high up I was due to the darkness beneath the bridge. With the uneven planks there was no telling if the bridge was structurally sound at all.
As I timidly crossed back and forth to snap photos, a local resident walked his dog across the bridge while chatting on the phone. To him this seemed perfectly mundane. The two of us walking without coordination caused the bridge to rock gently back and forth.
On one side the outline of downtown San Diego was visible in the distance. Due to the darkness and the motion of the bridge, I couldn’t get a photo that was in focus.
While walking back to the bus stop, I couldn’t help but to think of San Diego’s reputation for ghost stories. I’d pegged it as the superstitions of a military town, but after crossing this gently moving bridge in the dark I could see why this otherwise picturesque city could have a creepy vibe.