The San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge, built in 1969 in the spectacular context of the bay, has become a symbol of the San Diego area. The San Diego Bridge is characterised by its graceful 2.5 mile long curved deck supported by over 30 towers reaching a height of 200ft over the navigation channel. The shipping channels are spanned by the world’s longest continuous three-span box girder measuring 1,880ft.
After an extensive period of evaluation, the Port Commissioners and Caltrans embraced a selection panel’s recommendation to choose the Peter Fink and Mark Major led team ahead of two other finalists, the Bideau Company of Ballan-Mire, France and Ned Kahn/Patrick McInerney Associates in association with ARUP.
The wining concept envisages illuminating the bridge with programmable LED lighting in an energy neutral manner using electricity generated by wind turbines. The lighting concept is designed to celebrate the spectacular Bay location of San Diego, and emphasise the bridge as an important gateway with programmable changing coloured light which expresses the movement of energy across and under the bridge. The variable rate of traffic flow over the bridge will be expressed by parapet lighting programmatically reflecting the direction, speed and intensity of vehicle movements on the deck.
The lighting of the navigation span will express the nautical gateway function of the bridge and will have the capability to respond to the movement of larger ships. A distinct secondary layer of lighting accentuating the bridge pillars will provide the sense of urban connection between the two shores and celebrate the strong ties across the water body linking the communities of San Diego and the City of Coronado.