‘Peninsula News’ Shines Light on Street Poles on New West Mission Bay Bridge

by on December 5, 2022 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

From Peninsula News of Point Loma Association

Lights! Camera! More Lights! Action!


PLA Member, and faithful newsletter reader Ted, recently posed a question that might be on your mind, too.

“Why are there so many street lights on the new W. Mission Bay Bridge?”

Ted illustrates (with lead photo above).

We are pleased to announce that, we asked the question of the City…and we got a rapid response!

An associate Engineer – Civil, in the City’s Department of Engineering & Capital Projects explained.

“The light poles are relatively low and placed on the inside of the bridge to minimize spillover into the San Diego River and impacts to the wildlife therein. As a result, the light pole spacing is reduced to provide full coverage of the bridge deck.”

That makes sense. But, the lights on the bridge appear taller than your everyday street lights.

So, we asked a follow-up question – AND we got follow-up answer! Wow.

“These light poles, which are lovely, seem to be taller than normal street lighting. Is that an optical illusion? How do they compare with other roadway lights?” we asked.

“While standard street light pole with luminaire mast have height from 31.5 to 39 ft., height of lights on the bridge are around 27 ft.”

So it is an optical illusion. Along the lines of, “objects in rear view mirror are closer than they appear.”

We had one more question, but choose to not submit it to the City. Let us pose it to you.

In looking at the two pictures below – one from the original plan rendering, and the other from a recent U-T photo – do there seem to be more light poles in the latest photo than in the original plan?

Just askin’.

For sure, the new crossing is a big improvement from the Mission Bay Bridge of yesteryear!

Although, the trolley was a nice touch!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

frankf December 6, 2022 at 9:04 am

Perhaps you should have asked the city engineer why the bridge is so well lit and our city streets so dark???


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