A project to restore the lights along San Diego’s historic Cabrillo Bridge at Balboa Park pressed on this week with the installment and removal of several light fixtures.
The lighting project on the busy bridge, also known as the Laurel Street Overcrossing, began earlier this year. Wednesday’s phase included the installation of six lights on both sides of the bridge, plus the removal of six fixtures.
The project is designed to bring the lights along the bridge back to the way they looked in renderings from 1915. The lights that are damaged or missing ornamentation are being replaced with new LED drivers and globes; others are being repainted with the same color used for the 1935 California-Pacific International Exposition.
In addition to improving aesthetics, the lighting upgrades are aimed at increasing public safety and reducing energy costs in order to comply with the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan.
The project is a joint effort by the City of San Diego, the San Diego Foundation, the Balboa Park Endowment Fund and other nonprofit organizations. A redesign company in Chula Vista is in charge of restoring the light fixtures. Each set of lights are installed and removed by the City of San Diego.
The project is being completed in stages to maintain the safety of the Cabrillo Bridge, with only six lights being removed at a time. The next phase is slated for next month.
The City plans to have the project fully completed before this year's December Nights event at Balboa Park (Dec. 2-3), which draws a huge crowd to the local landmark.
This is the second restoration project to recently shine the spotlight on Cabrillo Bridge. Last year, the Cabrillo Bridge Rehabilitation and Retrofit Project made improvements to the exterior of the overcrossing and added lights to the arches.