SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Enjoy the lights on the Bay Bridge while you can. The nonprofit behind the classic display confirmed to KRON4 that the lights will go out on Sunday following issues with funding.
Illuminate, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that creates light-filled public art, first lit up the Bay Bridge 10 years ago. Some of the bridge’s 25,000 lights have gone out since then, and the rest will go out this weekend.
“The hardware is failing at a rate faster than we can cost-effectively keep up,” Ben Davis, the founder of Illuminate, told KRON4 in January.
Davis said constant repairs are too costly. Illuminate wanted to double the total of 25,000 lights with a new custom-engineered LED system and a 10-year maintenance contract.
“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,” Davis said.
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Illuminate is soliciting funding to keep the lights on, aiming for a goal of $11 million. If the funding is secured, Illuminate will unveil the upgraded display on Labor Day weekend, which is meant to be visible from San Francisco, Treasure Island, Yerba Buena Island, and Oakland.
Davis says Illuminate will provide an update on where it is with funding on Sunday. Anyone who wants to donate can do so on Illuminate’s website.