Commission OKs Desmond Bridge Recommendation

Byline: The Log Staff

Commission OKs Desmond Bridge Recommendation

LONG BEACH — The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the Port of Long Beach staff’s recommendation May 14 that the “best value” design-build proposal to replace the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge was submitted by the joint venture team of Shimmick Construction Co. Inc., FCC Construction S.A. and Impregilo S.p.A. (SFI).

SFI qualified as the “best value” proposer by earning the highest technical score from the multi-agency Project Selection Committee and also submitting the lowest price proposal of $649.5 million.

The board’s action means a final contract can now be negotiated, and the Harbor Commission’s decision on the final contract is expected in early July. Final design of the bridge will start soon after the contract is signed, and construction is expected to start in early 2013.

The total cost of the overall bridge replacement project is estimated at about $1 billion, including site preparation, demolition and other considerations.

The Gerald Desmond Bridge is a vital link in the nation’s trade system and a major commuter corridor. The structure is a through-arch bridge that carries four lanes of Ocean Boulevard traffic from Interstate 710 west across the Cerritos Channel to Terminal Island.

While the bridge has sustained traffic since the 1960s, it was not designed to handle today’s volumes, and is deteriorating. The replacement project will increase the carrying capacity of the bridge, and will also increase the water-to-bridge height clearance from 154 feet to 205 feet clearance, allowing larger ships to call at the port’s inner harbor terminals.

Construction of the new bridge is expected to take about four years and generate, on average, 4,000 jobs per year.

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