Watch Grand Opening

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project spans the Port of Long Beach’s Back Channel with a deck rising 205 feet above the water. The sleek, cable-stayed bridge includes 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 is 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 Gerald Desmond Bridge provides 155 feet of vertical clearance above the Back Channel at Port of Long Beach. The Long Beach International Gateway Bridge is 205 feet above the channel. To view an illustration of the new bridge and existing, click here. The new bridge was constructed just north of the Gerald Desmond.
The Gerald Desmond Bridge was demolished beginning in July 2022 and the bridge materials were recycled.

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 includes three scenic overlooks with information about the Port and surrounding areas.

The Bixby Path extends to the west side of the Gateway Bridge, but the path is currently closed around two-thirds of the way across the bridge. This is a safety measure as currently there is no path to connect to on the Terminal Island side of the bridge.

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 new bridge opened to traffic on Oct. 5, 2020.