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Background on this bicycle and pedestrian addition to the new bridge.
The new Long Beach bridge includes a separated, 1.5-mile-long bicycling and walking path along the south edge of the bridge. Officially named the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle Pedestrian Path, the route will offer spectacular views of the San Pedro Bay, the Port of Long Beach and much of the city’s coastline. The path has not yet been opened.
The path is named after one of Long Beach’s leading bicycle advocates. Mark Bixby helped create the city’s Bicycle Master Plan and founded the Long Beach Bicycle Festival. He also spearheaded the successful grassroots effort to have a bike path included in the design of the new bridge. Bixby died in a tragic airplane crash on March 16, 2011. It wasn’t long after that when the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the addition of the path to the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project.
The new bridge project began construction in 2013. The Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project was funded by the Port of Long Beach, Caltrans, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and Los Angeles Metro.
The new bridge opened to vehicle traffic in October 2020. Since then, it has been necessary to keep the Bixby Path closed, for worker access to the bridge’s main span. At this point, the path remains closed. New nearby construction projects, including the erection of an elevated “connector” pathway, proceed adjacent and above certain segments of the bike-walk path, making it unsafe to open.
The bridge’s funding agencies are delighted to have included a Class 1 bike path and pedestrian route in the bridge project. The City of Long Beach and Port of Long Beach are working together to determine a safe opening date for the new Bixby Path.