Matt Mullenweg’s Bay Bridge Cable Walk

Matt Mullenweg was granted the opportunity to walk all the way up the first tower of the Bay Bridge. In case you didn’t know, he is a founding developer of WordPress. Thanks to the folks at the Bay Lights Project, he was able to take photos of the breathtaking view from the second busiest bridge in the world.

You walk right up the cable/pipe to the top, it actually wasn’t that hard. Once on top the vistas were amazing. I tried to grab some photos of the hardware behind the lights at the top of the cables.

photo taken from the top of oakland bay bridge

The Bay Lights is a project of Illuminate the Arts, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco dedicated to the creation and presentation of public art. Leo Villareal is the artist behind the Bay Bridge’s 25,000 lights which is set to launch on March 5. Those 25,000 lights will illuminate the cables from dusk until 2:00am for 2 years, impacting over 50 million people in the Bay Area. Villareal is known for his light sculptures such as Cosmos which is comprised of almost 12,000 LED lights, and some site-specific masterpieces like Buckyball and Hive in Manhattan and Multiverse in Washington D. C..

photo taken from the top of oakland bay bridge

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Villareal talks about what the light sequences will look like:

The inspiration for my pieces comes from everything that surrounds them. I’m looking for motion. Obviously, this is an incredibly fertile site. There’s so much happening with the flow of traffic, the very dramatic weather, the interaction with the sky and the water. It’s really just ever-changing, so there’s endless inspiration here.

A project of this scale doesn’t come to fruition easily. “Getting all of the agencies that control and run the bridge to rally around it and support this project has been key,” he says.

photo of the bay bridge from the top of the tower

Here’s a look at the numbers:

Philips white LED lights

Approximate hours per night ‘The Bay Lights’ will be on

Cost of the electricity needed to power the lights per year

Miles of LED-bulb strands, if laid end to end

$8 million
Total cost

50 million
People projected to see ‘The Bay Lights’

$97 million
Estimated benefit for the local economy


photo of matt mullenweg on top of oakland bay bridge tower

Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.