Port OKs plan for dramatic lighting of Coronado Bridge

Private donations asked to fund $8,000,000 project

SAN DIEGO - The Port of San Diego has approved spending $75,000 in startup money to begin planning for a new lighting system for the Coronado Bridge.

It is an effort to make the bridge a memorable gateway to San Diego without tax dollars. The cost is estimated at $6 million to $8 million.

There are several ideas for artistic lighting of the Coronado Bridge: changing colors and variable brightness of the lighting or sometimes interactive with the season or the intensity of traffic. 

It is an ambitious project that may light the pillars, maybe the side rails, or some combination of techniques.

Tanya Castaneda, the public information officer for the Port of San Diego, told 10News, "This would give it an extra boost…  make it even more of an iconic structure and it'll really enhance the sense of place."

The estimated cost is $6 million to $8 million, which would be mostly contributions from philanthropic donors and corporations.

"We're talking about a vibrant endowment campaign in conjunction with the San Diego Foundation, so we're not talking about public money being used for this," said Castaneda.

The Port Commission was asked for $75,000 in seed money to lay the groundwork. The startup money would include hiring a fundraiser to solicit those donations.

The final design has yet to be chosen.

"So many people have contacted the port with interest about this and are really excited," said Castaneda. "There's a lot of buzz about it and we just want to make it happen." 

The Port of San Diego is the lead agency on the lighting project and is partnering with CalTrans, which owns the bridge. 

The project is expected to take three years to complete.

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