About the Bridge

About the Bridge Project

Background information on the history and benefits of the project.

The current Gerald Desmond Bridge is a vital part of the country’s trade infrastructure, with 15 percent of the nation’s imported waterborne cargo trucked over it. In addition, it is a critical access route for commuters between the Port of Long Beach, downtown Long Beach and surrounding communities.

Built in the 1960s and in dire need of replacement, the current bridge was not designed to accommodate today’s larger cargo ships or the dramatic increase in trucking traffic with the growth of the Port.

When completed, the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project will span the Port of Long Beach’s Back Channel with a deck rising 205 feet above the water. The sleek, cable-stayed bridge will include additional traffic lanes, a higher clearance to accommodate the newest generation of cargo ships, and a dedicated bicycle path and pedestrian walkway, including scenic overlooks. With two towers reaching 515 feet into the sky, this will be the second-tallest cable-stayed bridge in the United States.

Building the new bridge is generating 3,000 construction-related jobs. The bridge expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Project Benefits:

The new bridge will offer the following benefits:

  • Three lanes in each direction for improved traffic flow
  • Emergency lanes on both the inner and outer shoulders in each direction to reduce traffic delays and safety hazards from accidents and vehicle breakdowns
  • A 205-foot vertical clearance to accommodate larger, “greener” vessels
  • A reduction in the bridge’s steep grades, for further improvements to traffic flow
  • The Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle and Pedestrian Path with at least three scenic overlooks

Project Funding

The Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project is a joint effort of Caltrans and the Port of Long Beach, with funding contributions from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

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