Upon completion in 1936, California’s San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge was celebrated for its beauty and engineering marvel. The bridge at eight miles long, is one of the world’s longest bridges.
Six months after it opened, however, the Golden Gate Bridge was completed nearby, eventually becoming a world-famous icon, leaving soon the Bay Bridge in its shadow. This is until entrepreneur Ben Davis, a self-proclaimed ardent fan of the Bay Bridge, came up with “a way to let it shine again.” A public lighting project was conceived that would enliven the bridge and could be seen from afar.
Davis’ inspiration will become a reality just after the bridge’s 75th anniversary with “The Bay Lights” project. “The Bay Lights” will be the world’s largest LED art installation and will light up the western span of the bridge.
The installation of the ambitious project began in the Fall of 2012, after approval by authorities in August and a successful fundraising drive. Since October 2012 a team of electricians climb the suspension cables every night to install over 25,000 LED lights on the vertical cables, the highest of which go up 240 feet.
The official opening, a Grand Lighting Ceremony, is scheduled for March 5, 2013. The lights will stay up for at least two years, but could be extended for five years, Ben Davis said.