Local

Road into downtown Long Beach to close for up to 3 years

The Gerald Desmond Bridge is currently being replaced — which will cause a road closure in Long Beach of up to three years.
The Gerald Desmond Bridge is currently being replaced — which will cause a road closure in Long Beach of up to three years.
Port of Long Beach


While driving into downtown Long Beach, a new detour might start to reroute your normal commute. Starting Wednesday, eastbound Ocean Boulevard will be closed from the Gerald Desmond Bridge to downtown Long Beach for up to three years. 

The closure is a part of the $1.5 billion Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project. The project is supposed to deliver traffic signals and two new dedicated left turn signals, but it's also delivering a long-term road closure.

Detours have been designed to direct traffic during the closure:

Pico Avenue detour

A few pro tips for drivers in the area, from the replacement project

This isn't the first time that the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project has required roads to temporarily close — and Port of Long Beach Spokesman Lee Peterson said it won't be the last time in the effort to rebuild the bridge while making it better.

“It’s going to be bigger and better than the old one, and just kind of built for the modern era of traffic and shipping,” Peterson said.

Gerald Desmond Bridge sees 15 percent of the nation's waterborne cargo. It is set to be built with higher clearance to help fulfill the needs of the newest generation of cargo ships, according to the bridge website.

A rendering of the Gerald Desmond Bridge once the replacement project is finished.
A rendering of the Gerald Desmond Bridge once the replacement project is finished.
Port of Long Beach

 

While the road could be closed for up to three years, the road is expected to be completed by late 2017 or mid-2018, according to the Replacement Project's FAQ.

For updates on more closures linked with the Gerald Desmond Bridge, follow the project on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the cost of the bridge replacement project. KPCC regrets the error.