Bridge Detours Begin

Collin James

The ongoing construction of the replacement Gerald Desmond Bridge will deter the West-side Ocean Avenue section of the existing bridge starting on Saturday, March 18. The detour will be in place until the reopening of the bridge in 2018. Drivers will be diverted off the westbound span onto Pico Avenue before being routed back onto the bridge.

The Port of Long Beach says they are closing that portion of the bridge to install “new traffic signals and a realigned on-ramp.”

Additional closures will take place this weekend. Access to State Route 47 via Ocean Boulevard will be closed off starting 8 a.m. Friday and is expected to reopen the following Monday morning.

Traffic delays are possible, according to a press release, and the Port of Long Beach advises motorists to plan ahead. Drivers will need to continue east and go past Freeway 710 then north to Anaheim Street.

The new Gerald Desmond Bridge is undergoing construction right now and will allow more cargo to pass underneath from mega-cargo ships and will be fitted with more sophisticated safety features, according to Interim Chief Executive of the Port of Long Beach Duane Kenagy, who spoke about the port's capital improvement activities at a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of Long Beach.

“The existing bridge was designed and built in the 60s and is what an engineer would term ‘functionally obsolete,’” Kenagy said. “It is certainly was not in danger of falling down, but it’s high maintenance and  by modern traffic standards it is a bit unsafe.”

The bridge, which connects the East and West sides of Long Beach over the LA River will be the first cable-stayed bridge designed for commuters in the state of California.

“About 15 percent of the nation's consumer cargo goes over that bridge every day,” Kenagy said. “This truly is a project of national significance.”

According to Kenagy, the new towers on the bridge are 380 feet high and when completed will be 515 feet, making it the highest point in Long Beach.

“[The bridge] is going to forever change the skyline of Long Beach,” Kenagy said.

For more information and construction update, go to or by downloading the “LB Bridge App” available for Androids, iPhones and Windows mobile devices.



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