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Phil Matier: New Bay Bridge Span Getting $2M Worth In Lights

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The self-anchored suspension (SAS) tower of the new eastern span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge on August 30, 2013 in Emeryville, California. After nearly 12 years of construction and an estimated price tag of $6.4 billion, the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge will open to traffic a day ahead of schedule. The bridge will be the world's tallest SAS tower once completed. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The self-anchored suspension (SAS) tower of the new eastern span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge on August 30, 2013. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Phil-Matier_BIO-HEAD Phil Matier
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Caltrans seems to think the Bay Bridge isn’t spectacular enough, and the new eastern span is already getting a makeover as crews are installing thousands of lights to illuminate the span.

They hope to have about $2 million worth, or 7,800 LED lights installed by Christmas. That span alone is already the most expensive bridge in the world. If you’re going to have the best and the most expensive, you might as well light it up, seems to be Caltrans’ way of thinking.

So far there hasn’t been much of any push back on the new lights. If anything it almost seems to be a bit of eastern span-western span lighting envy. Now it’s as if we have a competition going on.

The western span on the San Francisco side has some 25,000 LED lights (funded by millions of dollars from private donors) as part of a moving light sculpture.

However, the eastern span’s new lighting project, which will illuminate the cathedral portion and central tower, is being funded with taxpayer dollars and toll money.

The lighting design is by Howard Brandston, who designed architectural lights for the Statue of Liberty, will be a permanent fixture.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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