San Diego

Testing Underway for Coronado Bridge Lighting Art Project

Lights strung across the Coronado Bridge will be lighting up in special recognition of the branches of our military this Veterans Day.

Starting Sunday, the Port of San Diego is conducting an over-water lighting field test as part of the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Lighting Project -- the next step in a process to artistically illuminate a portion of the 2.1-mile bridge span from the Coronado shoreline to Harbor Drive in San Diego.

The testing is scheduled to occur between 6:15 p.m. and midnight from Sunday to Saturday, Nov. 14. To allow the testing, 170 computer-programmable color LED luminaires and controllers are being temporarily installed on three of the tallest columns near the center of the bridge span.   

Each night during the live technical testing, lighting in different colors, combinations, sequencing and arrangements will be intermittently visible on the three columns. Occasional periods of darkness will occur as other aspects of the installation are tested.

The new lights on the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge are part of the port of San Diego's project to add lights to the bridge.

"This bridge lighting test provides San Diego a unique opportunity to see what's possible and how the infusion of technology and art can make people feel connected to, and inspired by, our beautiful waterfront," said Marshall Merrifield, port commissioner. "Our goal is to ignite the imaginations of every person in the San Diego region, and after years of dedicated time to the project, bring forward a viable, beautiful addition to the nighttime skyline."

The week of technical testing is intended to evaluate the lighting design that has been developed to date, its technical functionality and its ability to effectively display the range of artistic color lighting as originally envisioned.

During the testing, the project team and design consultants will take measurements, collect data, and identify adjustments that may be necessary as
the project's design development continues. The testing will also help in better understanding the project's feasibility and capabilities, answer questions related to engineering, design, sustainability, and be used to create an adequate project description for environmental review.

This is the second test of the project. The first took place in April 2019 and tested lighting on two columns over land on the San Diego side of the bridge. After the first test was complete, the Port received a Coastal Development Permit in October 2019 for the overwater testing allowing the Port to move forward with this upcoming test.

Following a worldwide competition, an international design team
consisting of lead artist Peter Fink of Studio Fink LTD, architectural lighting
specialists Speirs+Major Associates and Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, was
selected to design the artistic lighting concept for the project.

As a follow-up to the lighting tests,  the Port plans to invite community members to share their input and have conversations with the design group to ensure communication and collaboration and to further develop a signature, bay-spanning illuminated artwork for the region.

In addition to public input, and once the upcoming lighting test is complete, the Port will initiate plans to proceed with environmental review as the next step of the project.

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