Bay Area's Biggest Canvas: the Bay Bridge

The lights would stay up through the opening of the new eastern span in 2013.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Dec 15, 2011  |  Updated 12:37 PM PDT
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San Francisco Skyline

D.H. Parks

See photo here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/parksdh/5530248040/sizes/l/in/photostream/

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The latest big idea for San Francisco involves 25,000 LED lights and the Bay Bridge.

An artist says he wants to turn the western section into a gigantic canvas featuring a light display that changes with the ebb, flow and mood of locals.

The display is being compared to a spectacular lighting for the Eiffel Tower for its 100th anniversary.

The thousands of lights would be strung vertically from the bridge's arches. A big wow factor for sure for people walking along the Embarcadero, and apparently invisible to drivers headed into the City.

The CoCo Times first reported
the plan by artist Leo Villareal. Villareal said he has the project completely mapped out including the computer software to make the lights run.

Now all he needs is the $7 million to pay for it. That part of the plan kicked off Tuesday with a fund-raising drive.

Villareal said it will take him four months to string the lights and he hopes to keep them lit for two years.

Caltrans' Bart Ney told the paper that he thinks the plan will meet state requirements. "This is a very detailed and serious plan," Ney told the paper.

Below is an animation that shows you what the display would look like.

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