The California Department of Transportation has awarded a joint venture featuring FCC Construcción (30%), Shimmick Construction Company Inc (40%) and Impregilo S.p.A (30%) the contract to design and build the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Los Angeles. The project will take five years to complete and has a budget of $649.5m. Architects on the project are Dissing + Weitling Architecture.
The Gerald Desmond Bridge was built in the 1960s. Now more than 42 years old, it is an important part of the local infrastructure, constituting a vital step in the transportation of more than 15% of the country's waterborne cargo traffic and connecting the port of Long Beach to the city centre and nearby communities.
The current project calls for the design and construction of a new bridge to improve traffic flow and safety. The new bridge will be cable stayed, with a 305m-long main span with 61m of vertical clearance above the Back Channel of the Port of Long Beach and two 152m-long end spans. The bridge will have three lanes in each direction, emergency lanes on both sides for additional safety and a bicycle lane.
The approach to the bridge's western end span is 950m-long, and the approach from the east is 925m-long. Both are formed of structures with 40- to 75-m spans and sections made of different types of precast and cast-in-place box girders. West of the bridge, the horseshoe-shaped Terminal Island East interchange connects Ocean Boulevard and the port's Pier T. To the east, the interchange linking Ocean Boulevard with Route 710, Pico Avenue and piers E and D will be remodelled.
The road across the bridge is one of the most important routes and has been designed as a connecting road between the National Highway System and the Federal Strategic Highway Network. The new bridge will improve traffic flow, enhance safety, provide jobs for more than 4,000 people each year and have a highly positive impact on the economy of southern California and, in short, on the country's economy.