Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ocean Boulevard Closure Signals Beginning of GD Bridge Construction

Full Closure of Ocean Boulevard at Port Set for July 12-15

Closure needed to demolish ramp as first step of new bridge project


Jul. 10, 2013
Detour map
LONG BEACH, Calif.  –  A full weekend closure of Ocean Blvd. in both directions will begin this Friday night, July 12, as crews demolish a Terminal Island overpass to make way for replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge.  

Ocean Blvd., which transitions to State Route (SR) 47 as it heads west toward San Pedro, is a major commuter highway linking Long Beach with South Bay communities as well as a primary route for trucks entering and leaving the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. 

Westbound Ocean Blvd. will be closed at Harbor Scenic Drive, just west of downtown Long Beach, and eastbound Ocean Blvd. will be closed at SR-47 on Terminal Island. The closure takes effect at 10 p.m. Friday, July 12, to demolish the portion of the Pier T ramp that crosses over Ocean Blvd. Re-opening of Ocean Blvd. is scheduled by 5 a.m. on Monday, July 15, but could occur sooner depending on completion of the demolition.

Also closed during this period will be the southbound I-710 connector to Ocean Blvd. and the westbound Pico Avenue on-ramp to Ocean Blvd. Southbound I-710 traffic seeking to go west toward Terminal Island will be diverted at Pacific Coast Highway. 

Motorists who regularly use Ocean Blvd. to travel between Long Beach and the San Pedro/Palos Verdes/Torrance area are advised to take alternate routes during this period. Truck access to Pier T will remain available during the closure. Drivers are advised to follow posted detours.  

Detours include:
  • Motorists westbound on Ocean Blvd. from the city of Long Beach will be diverted at Shoreline Drive to the northbound I-710 Freeway, then exiting at Pacific Coast Highway westbound to the 103 Freeway (south), then to SR-47 south toward Terminal Island and back onto Ocean Blvd.
  • Motorists eastbound on Ocean Blvd. from San Pedro will be diverted to northbound SR-47, then to the northbound 103 Freeway, then eastbound on Pacific Coast Highway to the southbound 710 Freeway to Long Beach.
  • Southbound I-710 motorists seeking to reach Terminal Island or San Pedro via westbound Ocean Blvd. and the Gerald Desmond Bridge will be diverted at Pacific Coast Highway for the westbound detour route.  

For a complete listing of alternate routes and detours during the temporary July 12-15 weekend closure of Ocean Blvd., please visit www.newgdbridge.com or download the closure notices and maps here.  Motorists are encouraged to follow the bridge project on Twitter (@newgdbridge) to receive the latest updates on this road closure and future traffic information.  An alert via Twitter and on the bridge project’s Facebook page will be issued if the weekend closure of Ocean Blvd. goes longer or shorter than anticipated. 

Access to downtown Long Beach via the the Long Beach Freeway (I-710) will remain unaffected during this weekend’s closure.

The Pier T off-ramp is being demolished to make way for the new bridge at the Port of Long Beach. Construction of the new bridge, being built just north of the existing bridge, is expected to take about three years. The existing Gerald Desmond Bridge will be demolished once the new bridge is completed. With the Pier T off-ramp removed, construction will begin on the west approach of the new bridge.  

With two 50-story-high towers, at a cost of about $1 billion, the new bridge will be one of the tallest cable-stayed bridges in the United States and the first of its kind in California. It will raise the clearance over a major Port shipping channel from 155 feet to 205 feet, allowing the world’s largest ships to enter the Port’s inner harbor. And with three lanes in each direction plus inner and outer safety lanes, it will be wider and better able to serve future traffic volumes. Other features of the new bridge include a bike path, pedestrian path and scenic observation decks. 

The replacement project will allow the Gerald Desmond Bridge to remain in use while the new bridge is under construction. The new bridge is among $4.5 billion in current and planned improvements to further modernize the Port of Long Beach and keep it competitive. Work on the new bridge will generate, on average, 3,000 jobs a year during construction. 

This project is a joint effort of the California Department of Transportation and the Port of Long Beach with funding also from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

A joint venture team of Shimmick Construction Co. Inc., FCC Construction S.A. and Impregilo S.p.A. (SFI) is the prime contractor for the design and construction of the replacement bridge.