Port of San Diego headquarters. Photo by Chris Stone

The Port of San Diego is conducting the first-ever overwater lighting field test as part of the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Lighting Project, the next step in a multi-step 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 between 6:15 p.m. and midnight for a week-long period from Sunday, Nov. 8, to Saturday, Nov. 14. To facilitate 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. This test is a milestone in moving forward with the project to be able to provide San Diego residents and visitors an artistic architectural lighting installation that will illuminate the structure at night and create a unique aesthetic identity for the bridge and the bay after dark.

“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 Commissioner Marshall Merrifield, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “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.”

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.

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. For more information about the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Lighting Project, visit portofsandiego.org/illuminate.

Once fully developed, the project will be reviewed by Caltrans to ensure it does not interfere with current or future bridge operations or projects, including the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Suicide Deterrent Project to install a suicide deterrence system to reduce suicides, suicide attempts, and associated bridge closures.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available through the San Diego 24/7 crisis line at 888.724.7240.