According to the Port of San Diego, the future looks bright for the vision of lighting up the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. The California Coastal Commission has given the Port of San Diego the green light to temporarily install LED lights on four of the bridge’s mid-span piers for information gathering and as part of development of a project description to start environmental review. The test, to be conducted between dusk and midnight during a one-week period, will be visible to San Diegans and visitors to San Diego Bay.
“Our vision for this project is to inspire and connect people to San Diego Bay through the fusion of art and technology,” said Commissioner Marshall Merrifield, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “We’ve achieved another important milestone in this project that, if ultimately approved, would transform the San Diego-Coronado Bridge into a signature, iconic artwork for our urban landscape.”
On October 16, 2019, the California Coastal Commission authorized a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) allowing the Port to light up four over-water piers (the vertical support structures beneath the bridge span) for one week to gather information for the project description. The test will help the Port and its project consultants answer questions related to engineering, design and the environment that are necessary to start environmental review for the project.
In April 2019, the Port tested lighting on two piers over land on the San Diego side. That study helped the Port observe, evaluate and collect data related to the output of different types of LED lighting units. The second test, as with the first one, will not represent any particular lighting configurations or scenarios that may be envisioned for the final bridge lighting design. Both tests are necessary to create a project description to start environmental review for the permanent lighting project.
The over-water lighting test has not yet been scheduled but is currently anticipated for mid-2020. Once it is complete, next steps include environmental review, finalizing the design, and permitting for full installation, which will include obtaining another CDP from the Coastal Commission.