Gerald Desmond Bridge

Gerald Desmond Bridge

The project consists of the replacement of Gerald Desmond Bridge, constructed in 1968 over the Back Channel of the Port of Long Beach. It is being replaced for reasons of seismic risk, because of heavy-traffic growth over the coming years and the need for greater vertical clearances for current container ships.

The project includes approach structures on Ocean Boulevard, the reconfiguration and improvement of two intersections, the construction of a bicycle lane along the length of the route and the diversion of affected services.

The main structure is resolved by means of a cable-stayed bridge with a 305-metre long principal span at 61 metres over the Back Channel and two 152-metre long end spans. The project was designed with two 155-metre maximum height, single-shaft towers, 90 metres above the deck. Each mast has two planes of ten cables from its head to the deck edge. Each tower is cemented over twelve 2.4 metre diameter piles connected by variable octagonal capping between 3 and 4.90 metres. The deck is 47 metres wide and consists of longitudinal metal beams at the ends and transversal metal beams spaced at five metres. Prefabricated, full-edge slabs are positioned on this metal structure with the joints between them being concreted onsite.

The approach bridges to the stayed section are 900 metres long on the west side and 1,155 metres long on the east side. These are made up of spans between 57 and 69 metres, with caisson sections, mostly executed onsite with a movable scaffolding system (MSS).

To the west of the bridge, an underpass is being executed adjoining the existing one at the intersection between Ocean Boulevard and the SR-47. To the east, the intersection joining Ocean Boulevard to the 710 highway, Pico Avenue and the E and D quays will be remodelled.

Remarkable aspects

  • Worldwide first-class successful bid.
  • It connects the heart of the Terminal Island port complex to the Port of Long Beach and is the passing zone towards the city centre and other nearby Californian localities.
  • The construction of the Gerald Desmond Bridge is providing employment to 3,000 people per year and involves a positive impact on the Southern California economy.

Client: Caltrans – Port of Long Beach

Start date: July 2012

End date: Under construction