Old Gerald Desmond Bridge demolition to begin this spring

The old Gerald Desmond Bridge closed in early October 2020 when the replacement bridge opened to traffic

February 28, 2022 / 1 minute read
Old Gerald Desmond Bridge demolition to begin in May
Image: Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach in California recently announced that the old Gerald Demond Bridge will undergo demolition beginning in May 2022.

Demolition will begin with the dismantling and removal of the main span, the Port of Long Beach said in a news release. This will require a weekend-long closure of the Back Channel, the waterway that runs under the bridge, to all vessel traffic.

The old Gerald Desmond Bridge closed in early October 2020 when the replacement bridge opened to traffic

Removal of the Gerald Desmond Bridge, rising 155 ft above the water, will allow large cargo vessels to more easily access the Port’s Inner Harbor, the Port says. The new bridge has a 205-ft clearance over the channel.

“The Gerald Desmond Bridge helped this port complex become one of the busiest in the world. It helped us reach new heights during an era of incredible, transformative growth in international trade,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement. “The new bridge that replaced it is a fitting, and lasting tribute to the old span.”

The Port awarded a contract in July 2021 to Kiewit West Inc. to dismantle and remove main steel truss spans, steel plate girder approaches, abutments, columns, access ramps, foundations, and other pieces of the Gerald Desmond Bridge.

Funding for the $59.9 million demolition project is included within the overall $1.57 billion budget to build the replacement bridge. Metal and other materials removed from the old bridge will be hauled to a recycling site for salvaging and reuse. 

Removal of the main span is one of the first steps in demolishing the Gerald Desmond Bridge. Full demolition is expected to be concluded by the end of 2023.

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SOURCE: Port of Long Beach

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