SF’s Golden Gate Bridge awarded $400 million in federal funds for repairs; Bay Bridge is always in need of donations

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Two very important bridges in San Francisco – the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge – rely on big dollars for big repairs.

Fortunately, the money for one of those projects got the go-ahead on Monday.

The Bay Bridge presents a spectacular light show at night. But it is old and there is not enough time and money to replace it.

As for the Golden Gate Bridge, millions of dollars are needed to ensure that it is safe for the “Big One”.

There’s a lot of love for San Francisco’s 85-year-old Golden Gate Bridge.

“They are visiting San Francisco and the first thing at the top of the list is – how do I get to the Golden Gate Bridge,” said Mayor of London Breed.

MORE: Golden Gate officials plan to stop humming sound over time, report says

The Golden Gate is also an essential connector.

“It hauls more than 100,000 vehicles a day, or about 37 million a year,” said US Transportation Secretary Peter Buttigieg. “There is only one Golden Gate Bridge and we will protect it.”

$400 million in federal funds has been given the go-ahead to help strengthen the main span of the Golden Gate.

Construction work begins next year.

“I think it is very appropriate that the very first cycle of our bridge investment program, which is one of the cornerstones of President Biden’s five-year infrastructure program, we are addressing this vital asset.” , said Secretary Buttigieg.

A few kilometers away is the Bay Bay Bridge, it has already undergone massive modifications to become earthquake-proof.

VIDEO: Bridging the Gap – The catastrophic fall and slow rise of the Bay Bridge past Loma Prieta

For nearly a decade, it has dazzled motorists, residents and visitors with a spectacular light installation.

“More than 20 million people are lucky enough to enjoy the lights of the bay,” said Ben Davis of the Illuminate/TBL360 project.

This year, the light show on the west span of the bridge may darken. Davis explains why.

“The lights there are suffering. They’re failing at a faster rate than we can replace them,” Davis said.

At least $11 million is needed in donations to update the Bay Lights Art Exhibit and sustain it for a decade.

“Fundraising, the way we work to do it here at illuminate, is finding 10 very generous patrons who can provide $1 million each to get us to the $10 million mark,” Davis said.

Davis hopes supporters can help raise enough money by March to replace the bay lights.

“March 5 is the day the bay lights go out,” Davis said. “The sooner the funds arrive, the sooner the lights can return.”

Davis, the new “TBL360 project” would be bigger and brighter. With 48,000 new LED lights.

“We’re actually doubling the number of LEDs. And trying to make the lights accessible to the whole Bay Area.

But until that happens, Davis says a lot more help is needed.

“This is a Bay Area group effort. This is a philanthropic moment,” Davis said.

To help replace the lights on the Bay Bridge, the plan is also to raise $1 million of the total $11 million cost through crowdfunding.

This particular fundraising effort will begin on March 5. Davis says the goal is to have the new display operational by Dec. 1.

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