The Coronado Bay Bridge stands as one of the region’s most iconic symbols.

Originally opened in 1969 during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of San Diego, the bridge is world-renowned for its structural and aesthetic design innovations. In fact, in 1970, it received the Most Beautiful Bridge Award of Merit of the American Institute of Steel Construction.

Today, thanks to a project led by the Port of San Diego and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the bridge may soon be getting an upgrade to its design.

[Tweet “Lighting Up the Coronado Bay Bridge @portofsandiego #IlluminatetheBay”]

The San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Lighting Project is a fundraising campaign setup through The San Diego Foundation that aims to install a programmable LED lighting system powered by sustainable energy sources in order to create a unique aesthetic identity for the bridge and the bay after dark.

The intent of the project is to create a distinctive artwork that will enliven the structure at night and strengthen the iconic look and feel of the bridge.

What’s even more important is that the Port of San Diego and Caltrans project will be entirely funded through the community.

“The Coronado Bay Bridge serves as a powerful representation of the ingenuity and strength of the region and the residents that call San Diego home,” described Yvonne Wise, Director of Waterfront Arts & Activation at the Port of San Diego. “We are excited for the community to be part of this lighting project that will enhance the design of the bridge for everyone who lives in and visits the region.”

Work of Art

Designed by internationally recognized artist Peter Fink and his team, the lighting concept was selected through a worldwide competition in 2010.


The design concept meets the key goals for the project by including artistic lighting that will create a sense of place, draw people to the region and withstand the test of time.

The design team envisions the bridge as a nautical gateway that celebrates the region. By using a color changing LED lighting system, an infinite number of lighting scenarios could be created and illuminated on the outer deck and pillars of the bridge.

The Port of San Diego is currently leading the fundraising campaign to raise $10 million to bring the project to completion by the target date of 2019, the 50th anniversary of the bridge. Once funding is secured, a feasibility study on the project will be conducted.

Learn More About the #IlluminatetheBay Project