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Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement is Now Open to Traffic

Home > 2020 > Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement is Now Open to Traffic

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Today, October 5, 2020, the new Long Beach bridge is open to traffic. This $1.47 billion project included the signature cable-stayed span replaces the adjacent Gerald Desmond arch bridge that connected the Port of Long Beach with the mainland for more than half a century. It is the second-tallest cable-stayed bridge in the U.S. and the first cable-stayed bridge for vehicles in California.

Led by Shimmick Construction Company, Inc., work on the design-build project began in 2013 to design and construct a new bridge that enhances a critical cargo route for one of the busiest U.S. ports, This was 46 years after ground was broken for the previous bridge designed primarily for transporting cargo and employees of the Long Beach Naval Shipyard.

“The opening of the bridge is the result of hundreds of thousands of hours of work from skilled craftsmen, engineers, designers, and project managers,” said Bob Schraeder, Director of Design-Build for Shimmick. “We all rejoice in the accomplishment of completing THE signature bridge for Southern California, which, in addition to being used by the Port of Long Beach for the transport of goods, will be a monument for our children and grandchildren and will serve many generations to come.”

The six-lane, 2,000-foot-long bridge crosses Long Beach’s Back Channel and features a 1,000-foot-long main span between two 515-foot-high towers. The deck’s 205-foot vertical clearance exceeds the clearance of the previous four-lane bridge by 50 feet.