New Long Beach bridge nears completion

The  new Gerald Desmond Bridge nears completion September 2020.

The new bridge at the Port of Long Beach is nearing completion and on course to open to traffic on 5 October.

The six-lane, cable-stayed bridge will provide a major new regional highway connector as well as improve cargo movement at one of the world’s largest port complexes.

“This new bridge is an incredible icon that will connect Long Beach to the world,” said Long Beach Mayor, Robert Garcia. “We will continue to build infrastructure and drive economic growth across the country.”

“The new bridge is an engineering marvel and a point of pride for the tens of thousands of workers whose livelihoods are connected to the Port of Long Beach,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero.

“We are both grateful for the years of hard work by the bridge contractor and workers and for the collaboration with Caltrans to deliver our new bridge. We’re very excited by what this bridge to everywhere means to our Port and the national economy.”

 The new bridge will replace the shorter, narrower Gerald Desmond Bridge, which currently carries 15% of all containerised goods coming into the US.

“The Port of Long Beach is proud to count the new bridge among our many capital programs that continue to enhance operational efficiency and keep the Port of Long Beach internationally competitive,” said Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “The bridge is a critical link in the nation’s trade system and improves an important transportation corridor for California.”

The new bridge will provide a higher passage for cargo ships, extra traffic lanes for trucks and cars, emergency lanes, greater resiliency in an earthquake and a 100-year minimum lifespan. With the twin 50-story-high towers connecting 80 cables to the center span, the new bridge will be one of the tallest cable-stayed bridges in the United States and the first of its kind in California. The new bridge will also include a pedestrian-bicycle path and will be illuminated with dozens of LED lights that change colors.

 The bridge project began in 2013 with a major undertaking to clear the path for the new structure. Shortly after the design-build project got underway, state engineers were able to secure additional improvements to the original bridge design to further enhance the bridge’s resistance to a potential future large earthquake.

The $1.47 billion bridge project also includes the eventual demolition of the existing Gerald Desmond Bridge that sits just a few feet from the new bridge.

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