San Marcos City Council names Creek Project bridges

San Marcos, CA — While the San Marcos Creek Project is gearing up for the next phase of construction, the San Marcos City Council unanimously voted at the June 8 council meeting to name the new Creek Project bridges after two notable San Marcos residents – Lionel “Doc” Burton and Pia Harris.

The Bent Avenue bridge, which is currently under construction, will be named after Burton, who served as the first elected mayor of the City of San Marcos. His service continued after his time as mayor when he developed programs and infrastructure, including the San Marcos Community Foundation, which still benefits the community today. The City of San Marcos extends its condolences to Dr. Burton’s family as he passed away on June 25, 2021.

The Via Vera Cruz bridge is expected to begin construction in early 2022, and it will be named the Pia Harris Bridge in honor of the first woman elected to the San Marcos City Council, a role she maintained for 24 years. During her time as a council member, she was instrumental in establishing the City’s Redevelopment Agency that enabled the City to generate tax revenue and reinvest funds to help start the San Marcos Creek Project.

The San Marcos Creek Project would not be possible without the vision of the community and council members like Dr. Burton and Harris. The project is designed to revitalize the San Marcos Creek, reduce seasonal flooding and improve the community’s ability to safely travel throughout the area, as well as restore the creek’s habitat. Currently, construction efforts are focused on building the Lionel “Doc” Burton Bridge on Bent Avenue, and once completed, crews will begin working on the Pia Harris Bridge, new Paseo del Arroyo Park and Discovery Street improvements.

“The formal naming of the two bridges is an exciting milestone for the project because it officially integrates the community into the project,” said Lewis Clapp, project engineer for the City of San Marcos. “Construction comes with short-term inconveniences, but we are building this project for the long-term safety and vitality of the San Marcos community. Without the support of council members like Dr. Burton, Pia Harris, and the community, the Creek Project might not be underway today.”

To learn more about the Creek Project, visit our website,

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