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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most commonly asked questions about the Bridge Project.

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 at the time of its completion.

The Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project provides a critical upgrade to a vital hub in the nation’s trade system. The current bridge, built in the late 1960s, is in dire need of replacement. It was not designed to handle today’s large cargo ships or traffic volumes. When the existing bridge was constructed more than 45 years ago, cargo ships were one-sixth the size they are today. Although the Port of Long Beach’s outer docks are “big ship ready” and already handling the world’s largest cargo vessels, the existing bridge prevents the new generation of cargo ships from reaching the inner channel. The new bridge will raise the clearance by 50 feet up from the existing bridge height of 155-feet above water.

The existing Gerald Desmond Bridge provides 155-feet of vertical clearance above the Back Channel at Port of Long Beach. The new bridge will be 205 feet above the channel. To view an illustration of the new bridge and existing, click here. The new bridge is being constructed just north of the existing one.

The Port is committed to maintaining the flow of cargo during construction of the bridge and other infrastructure projects. However, some traffic impacts are unavoidable.

The Port has assigned a special team whose primary function is to monitor and coordinate the road improvement projects related to the bridge, other traffic projects in the general vicinity, and utility construction projects in or near the new bridge construction site. The Long Beach Police Department and Harbor Patrol will monitor traffic and detours with street patrols and via traffic cameras. Even with these multiple efforts to reduce construction-related impacts, motorists can expect some traffic delays and disruptions.

Those most impacted by bridge construction traffic detours will be trucks and other vehicles doing business in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. For the most up-to-date information on closures and detours, sign up for weekly traffic updates at www.newgdbridge.com, or download the smart phone app “LB Bridge” for iPhone, Windows Phone and Android.
Stay connected and sign up for weekly construction alerts and follow the project at www.newgdbridge.com. Through our free mobile app, “LB Bridge,” you can get up-to-the-minute, localized traffic conditions, photos, videos, access live cameras, and receive text alerts and audio reports in English and Spanish. Search for “LB Bridge” in the App Store, Google Play or Windows Phone Store. The best way to watch bridge construction is via the live webcams linked on the website or from the app.
During construction, the current bridge will remain in use for drivers and will be demolished once the new bridge is open to traffic. This demolition will be performed with the utmost attention to safety standards.

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).

When the new bridge is completed, Caltrans will take over responsibility of its operations and maintenance.

Yes, the “Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle Pedestrian Path” is on the south side of the new bridge, connecting to bike routes in downtown Long Beach and the east Port area. It will include scenic overlooks.

The plans for the new bridge will enable bicyclists to reach a turnaround area on the west side of the bridge in the City of Long Beach. Of course, our plans involve only things we can build in our city, versus other cities.

Currently, there is no bike access over the Vincent Thomas Bridge to allow bicyclists to connect from the new bridge to San Pedro. We don’t know what plans that the Port of Los Angeles may have in this area.

The bridge was built as a 100-year bridge.
The bridge is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.


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