Contact Form

    News Details

    Bridge to Balboa Island to close for utility work, Balboa Ferry will be only option
    • October 20, 2023

    The only land link to Balboa Island, the bridge over the channel, will be shut down starting Sunday night as city crews upgrade water pipes.

    The 400-foot bridge that leads from Jamboree Road to the entrance of the island at Marine Avenue will be closed from 10 p.m. on Sunday until 5 a.m. Monday. That same night-shift schedule will continue daily through Thursday.

    Though there may be periods where cars will be able to get through, city officials recommend using the Balboa Ferry to get on and off the island.

    The work is part of an effort to underground utilities on the island that began on the westside in 2022.

    Work was starting on the North Bay Front road, but crews have stopped at Onyx Avenue because of the old water pipes, said Mike Sinacori, Newport Beach’s city engineer. “Those water pipes need to be strengthened and we postponed the underground work until January.”

    Work includes burying all overhead utilities in the public right of way. There will also be reconstruction of alleys and paved areas once the poles and wires are removed. The Balboa Ferry was closed down for a month by the project in early 2022. 

    Though the ferry’s coverage typically ends at midnight, Sinacori said the city has made an agreement with the ferry service – which runs back and forth across the bay from the island to the peninsula – to run throughout the night.

    Nate Capra, operations manager with the ferry, said they are remaining in communication with the construction crew and will make adjustments if they need to extend their time to help out the residents.

    “We’ve already had Balboa Island residents come to us and say they need to leave for work at 3 a.m., or that some need to get to John Wayne Airport,” Capra said. “We’re here for the people of Balboa Island.”

    Related links

    Owners of Balboa Island Ferry asking for more time to convert to electric engines
    Balboa Ferry officials trying to develop electric engine, applying for grants
    Balboa Island ferry will close to cars for a month
    Balboa Island residents desperate to save eucalyptus trees, but city cites confusion
    Newport Beach tags Marine Avenue trees on Balboa Island as landmarks for preservation

    If there is an emergency on the island, Sinacori said his crews could quickly organize tools and vehicles so an ambulance can pass through. He added that he has also coordinated plans with the Newport Beach Fire Department should there be an emergency.

    The water main work is expected to cost the city about $500,000 and the overall undergrounding project is about $6.2 million.

    ​ Orange County Register