Funds

Bay Bridge lights to go dark, funding needed

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – In about six weeks, the famous Bay Bridge lights will go dark. The non-profit behind the art installation said the hardware is failing, and they are hoping millions in donations will allow them to reinstall the one-of-a-kind display.

“I can’t imagine the bridge without them,” said a Ferry building worker who spoke to KRON4.

March 5 is the expected date the bridge will no longer twinkle its lights. “The hardware is failing at a rate faster than we can cost effectively keep up,” said Ben Davis, Illuminate founder.

Illuminate is a San Francisco arts non-profit that creates light-filled public art, and after 10 years of dazzling Bay Area residents and visitors alike, the lights display has more than a few bald spots. “If you look closely at all and watch through some of the brighter patterns, you’ll see areas of outages,” said Ben Davis.

According to Davis, constant repairs are too costly, but he hopes to bring them back and make them durable. “It’s a challenge of the current lights. They’re good but they have to exist in an area that has rain, fog, high winds, grime 24/7, vibration, expansion and contraction,” said Davis.

Currently 25,000 lights shine bright from the bridge. Illuminate wants to double that with a new custom engineered LED system, and a 10-year maintenance contract.

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The group says $11 million would make it happen. “We’re gonna do the responsible thing, take it down, dig deep philanthropically and bring it back in a new configuration,” said Davis.

Those willing to fund the six-month effort can visit Illuminate’s website. If funding is received, the Bay Lights 360 will be unveiled on Labor Day weekend.

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