Winning lighting design chosen for Coronado Bridge - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

TUESDAY, July 27, 2010

Winning lighting design chosen for Coronado Bridge

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - The new design for lighting up the Coronado Bridge has been chosen, and the winner is a British design team that proposes illuminating both the deck and the pillars below it.

The Board of Port Commissioners will make the official final decision in September, but a special panel has decided a British design team shows it has "the light stuff" when it comes to making the Coronado Bridge a work of art.

The London-based design group led by Peter Fink gets the nod from a special Port of San Diego panel aiming to transform the 41-year-old bridge into an iconic work of art that shines bright by night.

"It's a very traditional lighting system even though it uses the latest and greatest lighting technology for the bridge," San Diego Port Commissioner Lee Vurdick said.

The green technology taps into sustainable wind turbine energy to power the project, lighting both the bridge deck and pillars. While the lighting on top would shift based on traffic conditions, the supports below would change colors to reflect changing seasons, holidays and even special events.

"Such as the Chargers getting into the play-offs, it could be yellow and blue, at Christmas it could be red and green, very flexible on the lighting movement on the bridge," Vurdick said.

The Brits beat out a French design team that proposed LED lights to make a Native American-inspired zig-zag shape and a California team that used different light intensities to highlight the bridge's connection to nature.

One of the primary colors in this endeavor of course is the color of money. This lighting project will cost between $3 million and $5 million.

"Sometimes what we need during tough times like these is inspiration. I think a major public artwork like this can remind people of how good things can be," Vurdick.

The Port of San Diego says no taxpayer dollars will be used. Instead, they are relying on grants and private donations to fund this lighting project, which will ideally be complete by 2019 to coincide with the bridge's 50th anniversary.

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