State Senate officially designates Port of Long Beach's new span
The Port of Long Beach’s new cable-stayed span was designated as the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge on Wednesday after receiving approval from the state Senate.
Connecting Terminal Island to downtown Long Beach, the iconic bridge opened in October 2020 as part of the state highway system. The Port handed over ownership of the bridge to Caltrans, placing responsibility for the bridge’s name with the state Legislature.
“Since our new bridge officially opened in 2020, it has been a bright new landmark for our city – welcoming visitors from close to home and around the world,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “The approval of its official name as the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge perfectly fits all that it represents, and we are excited to have it serve our community and our great Port for generations to come.”
“The new name reflects that this truly is a bridge to everywhere by connecting Long Beach to the rest of the world as a critical link in the global supply chain,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “The Long Beach International Gateway Bridge represents our ongoing commitment to invest in infrastructure projects that will strengthen the Port’s competitiveness for decades to come.”
“The Long Beach International Gateway Bridge is both an architectural marvel and a vital part of our continued growth,” said Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman. “It is fitting that the bridge’s official name reinforces the Port’s standing as a gateway to the national economy and a symbol for sustainable goods movement.”
The bridge-naming bill was introduced to officially propose the bridge’s new moniker following a public survey conducted last year. The measure received unanimous approvals in the state Senate and Assembly.
“Like our Port and its workers, this iconic bridge represents the very best of Long Beach,” said Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, author of the bill. “The International Gateway Bridge connects our great community and state to the entire world. With a fitting new name, our Port will handle the largest cargo ships and meet the ever-increasing demands of today’s global supply chain.”
“This fitting name embodies the significance of the structure as a major cultural and economic center, providing millions of jobs across the nation and Southern California, and as a means through which we can provide essential goods to families locally and around the globe,” said state Sen. Lena Gonzalez, principal co-author of the bill. “Thank you to all our community members who provided their input during the naming process and to my colleagues in the Legislature for their support in shaping a part of our State’s history.”
With two support towers reaching 515 feet into the sky and a multicolored LED lighting system, the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge has already become an icon in Southern California’s skyline. The six-lane bridge was designed to last 100 years as a critical piece of infrastructure to sustain the Port’s long-term growth. It is taller than its predecessor to accommodate large cargo vessels and wider to improve truck and commuter traffic for Southern California’s transportation network.
The $1.5 billion Long Beach International Gateway Bridge replaced the Gerald Desmond Bridge, which opened in 1968 and named after a former Long Beach City Attorney and City Councilman who helped secure funding to build the through-arch span. Demolition of the Gerald Desmond Bridge began in July and is expected to conclude by the end of 2023.