"We were designing a bridge a day at that time," recalls William Wells, a bridge architect for Caltrans in Sacramento, who designed the West Lilac Road arch on Interstate 15. "The late 1970s were the hey days of the interstate system and a lot of bridges were being designed then.
"There's nothing aesthetically pleasing about the [Lake Hodges] Bridge," Caltrans bridge engineer [Ed Bankston] readily admits, although he personally had a hand in widening the bridge in 1978 when Interstate 15 became an interstate. "If there's water in the lake, the bridge will get you over it."
PHOTO: The West Lilac Road Bridge crosses Interstate 15 near Fallbrook. The 695-foot span was designed by Caltrans bridge architect William Wells.; PHOTO: The old San Luis Rey River Bridge in Bonsall was built in 1925.; PHOTO: There is a 50-cent toll for northbound traffic on the Murray Road Bridge in Oceanside. About $1.05 million is collected annually.; PHOTO: COLOR, Cover. A cliff swallow flies to its nest beneath the old San Luis Rey River Bridge. / DON BARTLETTI / Los Angeles Times; PHOTO: This bridge south of Escondido carries Interstate 15 over Lake Hodges. It is 665 feet long and 20 feet high. This photograph was taken in 1987 when the reservoir was full. / DAVE GATLEY / Los Angeles Times