LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — California’s newest bridge, which will replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge, opened Monday to traffic.
The new bridge has two towers rising 205 feet above the water, 50 feet higher than the old bridge, to accommodate mega vessels, and wider than the Gerald Desmond Bridge, which will eventually be demolished. The bridge is now the country’s second-tallest cable-stayed bridge, and each of the 80 cables light up the night sky.
TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement OPENED to traffic Monday (10/5). @CaltransDist7 handles operations and maintenance of the new iconic cable-stayed bridge at @portoflongbeach. Please be aware of new Traffic Pattern. pic.twitter.com/UChobqo74u
— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) October 5, 2020
The $1.47 billion bridge replacement project began in 2013. EarthCam released a time lapse video on Twitter that showed the painstaking process of building the new bridge alongside the Gerald Desmond Bridge.
Today the Gerald Desmond Bridge will officially be open to traffic! 🌉 Watch 7 years of #construction documenting the replacement project of the iconic Long Beach, California bridge in this 90 second #EarthCam time-lapse! @newgdbridge ▶️ https://t.co/KoZzv3C6mN pic.twitter.com/MSprKSlf4k
— EarthCam (@EarthCam) October 5, 2020
A ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday included a military flyover and a boat parade.
The bridge will connect the shipping yards on Terminal Island to the 710 Freeway and the rest of the nation. The old Gerald Desmond Bridge carried 15% of all container goods coming into the U.S.