Continuing our nine-part Meet the Bridge Builders video series, this week’s episode covers the vital need to keep traffic and goods moving through the Port of Long Beach. Approximately 15 percent of all containerized imports to the United States traveled over the old bridge and now move across the new bridge. That goods movement could not be interrupted by construction.
One of the true success stories of the Bridge Project was that the eight-year-long construction occurred in the busiest port complex in the country without significantly delaying or impairing truck or commuter traffic. A key to that success was the formation of an interagency traffic management group that met weekly and included representatives from both ports (Long Beach and Los Angeles), Caltrans, the City of Long Beach, and the project management-construction management team, all of whom collaborated on their respective work and coordinated closures and detours.
For example, construction of the new Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge occurred concurrently with the Bridge Project. The traffic management group made sure that both bridges would never have full closures at the same time to ensure access to and from the Terminal Island complex. The result was the continued flow of goods throughout the ports during the bridge construction.