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Home News Gerald Desmond Bridge demolition to start in May

Gerald Desmond Bridge demolition to start in May

The demolition of the Gerald Desmond Bridge in the Port of Long Beach (POLB) is scheduled to start in May with the dismantling and removal of the main span, which will require a weekend-long closure of the Back Channel, the waterway that runs under the bridge, to all vessel traffic.

The Port of Long Beach has announced the Back Channel will be closed to vessels from 6 a.m. Saturday, May 7, to 6 a.m. Monday, May 9 (local time), as the bridge’s 160-metre-long main span is disconnected and lowered onto a barge.

The Gerald Desmond Bridge closed in early October 2020 when its replacement opened and the vehicle traffic on the replacement bridge will not be affected by the demolition of the old span, according to a port's statement.

The full demolition of the bridge is expected to be concluded by the end of 2023.

Removal of the Gerald Desmond Bridge will allow large cargo vessels to more easily access the Port’s Inner Harbor, according to the Californian port, which noted that the new bridge has a 62.5-metre clearance over the channel.

POLB executive director, Mario Cordero said that the port will bid a fond farewell to the Gerald Desmond, and honor the memory of the man for whom it was named, as the Gerald Desmond Bridge, which served the port, city and region for over 50 years, helped POLB to become one of the busiest container hubs in the world.

"It was time to build a safer, taller and wider span that will allow the Port of Long Beach to remain a primary gateway for trans-Pacific trade well into the future," commented Steven Neal, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Opened in 1968, the Gerald Desmond Bridge was named after a former Long Beach city attorney who helped secure funding to build the bridge.

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