After a trip to San Francisco several years ago, I noted that the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge would be considered the signature bridge in most cities, but it is second to the majestic Golden Gate Bridge. The Bay Bridge with its two back-to-back suspension bridges is majestic and beautiful in its own right. Now, an incredible LED display, called “Bay Lights” is going make the bridge even more spectacular. From the SF Chronicle (‘Bay Lights’ a shining moment for region):

“Bay Lights” incorporates 25,000 LED lights on the west span of the Bay Bridge, and the software-generated patterns of light will glow from dusk to 2 a.m. for a full two years.

It’s a coup for the Bay Area to get a public art piece of this size and importance. The scope of the project is breathtaking – an 1.8-mile span from Yerba Buena Island to San Francisco, a crew of eight electricians working at night to attach the lights to the suspender cables of the bridge, an $8 million cost (privately fundraised, thank you) – and making it all happen was an incredible feat.

The Times has video:

Artist Leo Villareal created custom software to interpret the traffic, water and other movements in the area and light up the suspension cables on the spans that connect San Francisco to Treasure/Yerba Buena Island which is just under two miles. The privately-funded $8 million public art is a commemoration of the Bay Bridge’s 75th anniversary and will shine from dusk to 2 a.m. for two years.

The Bay Bridge opened in 1936 and used to carry US 40 and US 50. Now, it carries Interstate 80.

On the Oakland side of the bridge, construction continues on a replacement for the old cantilever bridge (a portion that collapsed during the 1989 Battle of the Bay World Series earthquake) with a self-anchored, one-tower suspension span. That tower was incorporated into the Golden State Warriors logo, a clever homage to a previous suspension bridge logo.

Now I really want to visit San Francisco again. But then again, I always want to visit San Francisco.

Highway markers from Shields Up!

Author: WFY

Yet another Washingtonian pushing the ubiquitous Nats/DC sports, Penn State, commuting, bicycling, kayaking, broomball, skiing, gin & tonic agenda.

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