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Port chooses SD Foundation to help illuminate Coronado Bridge

The San Diego Foundation is partnering with the Port of San Diego to help strategize and manage the funding plan to install an LED lighting system on the Coronado Bay Bridge.

The Port’s board of port commissioners voted unanimously to have the San Diego Foundation be the philanthropic group that will set up an account to receive donations and grants.

The board also approved $75,000 in seed funding that would be used to open the account with the San Diego Foundation and to hire a funding consultant.

The funding strategy calls to raise between $6 million and $8 million to install an LED lighting system that will illuminate each of the 30 twin pillars on the 2.12-mile long Coronado Bay Bridge.

The proposed plan calls for the installation of LED lights at the bottom of each pillar that would face up and change colors based on various factors, including signaling traffic on the bridge or the holiday season, with an infinite number of lighting scenarios.

The lights would be wired together and controlled with a computer.

The funding strategy first calls for $750,000 to be raised so that a feasibility study can be done. If the feasibility study shows no harm can come to the bridge or the bay, then the LED lighting system would be installed once enough money is raised.

Community outreach and a full marketing campaign to start raising money are expected to begin in January.

The goal of this illumination project is to create a “signature artwork” for the bridge and the bay, according to the Port.

In 2007, the Port’s public art committee looked into ways to make the bay stand out artistically.

A year later, talks moved further with Caltrans, which operates and maintains the bridge, and a request for a proposal was made to look for international artists who had experience with large-scale ventures.

In 2010, a design team led by Peter Fink of Form Associates, in collaboration with Speirs and Major Associates and Buro Happold were chosen for their LED system. The Port provided the funding to select the design team.

In 2011, the Port entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Caltrans.

It still has not been decided who will operate the illumination system if it is ultimately installed, nor the cost.

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San Diego Foundation

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2508 Historic Decatur Rd. Ste., 200
San Diego, CA 92106

San Diego Foundation Executive(s):

Bob Kelly

  • Chief Executive Officer, President

Heather Back

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