Port of Long Beach announces closure of traffic routes leading to the Gerald Desmond Bridge
The Port of Long Beach authority said that traffic routes leading to the Gerald Desmond Bridge will be closed for the Oct. 2-4 weekend to allow construction crews to switch lanes over to the new cable-stayed bridge and enable an opening of the new route by the morning of Monday, Oct. 5.
The lane switchover is the final major construction detour for the new bridge project. Motorists are encouraged to monitor the project’s website and social media channels for updates on the closure and the eventual opening of the new bridge.
For the lane switchover, eastbound and westbound lanes to the existing Desmond Bridge will close starting at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2. Motorists traveling east from the Port of Los Angeles and San Pedro areas will be diverted to northbound State Route 47 to continue to the 710 Freeway and Long Beach via Anaheim Street. If traveling west on Ocean Boulevard from downtown Long Beach, motorists are advised to turn right onto northbound Golden Shore and the 710, then take the first exit for westbound Anaheim Street. Once you reach SR-47, you can turn left to head south toward Terminal Island and San Pedro. Alternatively, if San Pedro is your destination, motorists can take Anaheim Street all the way toward the Harbor (110) Freeway. During this closure, access to Pier T will remain open for trucks and employees working in the Pier T area. Motorists heading south on the 710 should exit at westbound Pacific Coast Highway or westbound Anaheim if they are headed to Pier T, San Pedro or other points west of the bridge.
Lane switchovers will occur at three key locations – at the western end where the bridge will connect to westbound Seaside Highway and SR-47; at the southern terminus of the 710 for both southbound and northbound travel; and at Ocean Boulevard for motorists leaving or traveling to downtown Long Beach.
When opened, the new six-lane bridge will provide a seamless, efficient transition to and from the southern terminus of the 710 Freeway at the east end of this major transportation link, and an integrated connection to SR-47 and Terminal Island at the west end. The new bridge will feature a series of smoother on- and off-ramps – as well as California’s first-ever “Texas U-turn” – designed to provide easier, faster access to terminals at the nation’s largest port complex. The new bridge is also 205 feet high at its midpoint to provide a taller clearance for ships entering the Port of Long Beach’s inner harbor terminals.
Motorists are encouraged to subscribe to traffic alerts via the LBBridge app and www.newgdbridge.com, to be notified when the new bridge will open. The new bridge is expected to open no later than 6 a.m. on Oct. 5, but could open earlier if crews finish the lane switchover work earlier. Once the new bridge is opened, access to the Gerald Desmond Bridge will be closed. Demolition of the Desmond Bridge is expected to begin in a few months with the main span scheduled to be removed by the summer of 2021 and full demolition completed by spring 2022.
The $1.47 billion project to replace the current Gerald Desmond Bridge will provide the Port of Long Beach and greater port complex a state-of-the-art bridge capable of meeting the needs for international cargo movement for the next 100 years. The new bridge is a joint effort of Caltrans and the Port of Long Beach, with additional funding support from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).