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Port of Long Beach begins dismantling Gerald Desmond Bridge – Press Telegram

Demolition crews turn off and lower the huge central light from the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach Harbor to a barge on Saturday, July 9, 2022. (Photo by Axel Koester, collaborating photographer)

The iconic but defunct Gerald Desmond Bridge will not be a bridge for much longer.

The port of Long Beach on Saturday afternoon, July 9, was dismantled and began to slowly descend the 410-foot-long main stretch, which essentially defines a bridge, to a barge waiting in the back channel of St. Peter’s Bay.

The removal of the stretch is one of the oldest and most significant steps in the dismantling of the bridge, which has been replaced by the Long Beach International Gateway.

The removal of the stretch was scheduled to be completed on Sunday, about 1 3/4 years after bridge successor Gerald Desmond opened the $ 1.46 billion successor to traffic for the first time, causing the original bridge to disappear.

The Gerald Desmond Bridge opened in 1968, connecting Long Beach with Terminal Island and, via the Vincent Thomas Bridge, St. Peter’s.

It was the name of a former Long Beach attorney and councilor who helped raise funding to build the 5,134-foot-long bridge.

Desmond died of kidney cancer at the age of 48, four years before the bridge that bears his name was opened.

The bridge was a marvel then.

But as the port of Long Beach, along with the port of Los Angeles, grew and the surrounding population increased, the Gerald Desmond Bridge was eroded by the overwhelming number of vehicles traveling through it, especially the containers carrying valuable cargo to and from ports. .

When construction began on the replacement bridge, 60,000 Southern California passengers and freight trucks traveled daily by Gerald Desmond.

The bridge was also much narrower than the younger stretches, and also lower. The Gerald Desmond stretch rose 155 feet above the water, but is too low to allow today’s larger cargo ships to pass below it as they headed for the inner harbor of Long Beach Harbor.

Meanwhile, the International Gateway stretch is 205 feet above the harbor.

Port of Long Beach begins dismantling Gerald Desmond Bridge – Press Telegram Source link Port of Long Beach begins dismantling Gerald Desmond Bridge – Press Telegram

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