Port greenlights bridge lighting campaign

SAN DIEGO — Big changes may be coming to a San Diego landmark as the Unified Port of San Diego moves ahead with a plan to add decorative lighting to the Coronado Bridge.

“We’re looking at this iconic bridge and making it more exciting, beautiful, [and] dramatic,” Port of San Diego spokeswoman Tanya Castaneda said.

The lights on the pillars would change color based on traffic patterns and holidays.

British artist Peter Fink’s firm was selected for the project in 2008 and it will cost $6 million to $8 million.

The Unified Port of San Diego Commissioners approved plans to start a fundraising campaign.

The port is contributing $75,000 and it’s planning on corporate grants, port tenants and private philanthropists to make up the difference.

Once the fundraising is done, the endowment will reimburse the port for the seed money.

“The big obstacle is finding the funding for it,” Castaneda said. “If we can raise money  [we are going to do] a feasibility study to make sure that this is actually doable.”

Once the feasibility study is completed, the port will look at the environmental impact of the lighting project and hold a series of public meetings.

“We definitely want to assure people that we are very eager to get more public input on this,” Castaneda said. “We have every intention going forward of having additional forums for public input.”