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Maintenance Contract Approved For Permanent Return Of Bay Lights

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A maintenance contract approved Wednesday should keep the popular Bay Lights art installation on the western span of the Bay Bridge twinkling well into the next decade.

The Bay Area Toll Authority approved a 10-year, $2.1 million contract for Philips Lighting North America Corporation to maintain the Bay Lights installation once it returns as a permanent fixture next year.

The 25,000 lights were first installed in 2013 as part of the Bay Bridge 75th anniversary celebration. They turn on and off in patterns as programmed by artist Leo Villareal, invoking drifting clouds, sea creatures or just elaborate patterns.

The lights quickly became a fixture of the San Francisco waterfront, and late in 2014, Caltrans and the Toll Authority agreed to take over the installation and make it permanent.

In preparation for the permanent installation, the lights were shut down in March. Illuminate the Arts, the nonprofit group that initially raised the funding for the installation, is working with Caltrans on installing more durable infrastructure.

The Bay Lights are expected to illuminate the bridge again early next year.

© Copyright 2015 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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