Born in Louisiana, Bridgers moved to Southern California in 1933, attending Van Nuys High School, and then studied landscape architecture at University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1950. Returning to Southern California, he was hired by the Architect’s and Engineer’s department at University of California, Los Angeles, serving as their campus landscape architect as well as collaborating with Fred Barlow, Jr. on the design of the new University of California, Riverside campus. In 1953 Bridgers joined Ralph Cornell’s office, becoming a partner in 1955 in the firm Cornell, Bridgers and Troller. Bridgers served as general manager of the firm.
Besides their work on college campuses, Cornell, Bridgers and Troller focused on large-scale civic projects such as Los Angeles Civic Center and Century City. Other notable projects included the El Monte Mall, the master plans for the subdivisions of Westlake Village in Thousand Oaks and the 4,000 acre Valencia at Newhall Ranch, as well as the Elysian Park Master Plan. Another long-time and successful project was the Rose Hills Memorial Park, created in phases from the 1950s through the 1970s.
In 1969 the firm became known as Cornell, Bridgers, Troller and Hazlett. Jere Hazlett had been with the University of California, Los Angeles Architect’s and Engineer’s office since 1953, first as draftsman and later as campus landscape architect, replacing Bridgers. After Cornell’s death in 1972, Bridgers took over as senior partner, and Hazlett was named the University’s consulting landscape architect, a position held by Cornell since 1937. In 1979, Bridgers left the firm to practice as William Bridgers and Associates.