THE Port of Long Beach's new bridge replacing the old Gerald Desmond is scheduled to be open for truck and commuter traffic mid-August, according to a Port of Long Beach official.
Port capital projects executive Duane Kenagy said the new bridge will reduce steepness compared to the older bridge by one per cent making it easier and faster for trucks to cross without slowing down., reported the American Journal of Transportation.
"The grade in the old bridge was six per cent. The grade in the new bridge is five per cent, which will make it easier for trucks to transit the structure and back up traffic," said Mr Kenagy.
The new bridge is a collaboration between the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Port of Long Beach. In addition, the new bridge will be higher than the older bridge so that vessels of greater container capacity can pass under heading towards the inner harbor terminal.
"The older bridge had the air draft that would allow a vessel of up to 9,000 TEU to pass under it headed for the inner harbor. The taller replacement has an air draft that will allow 14,000-TEU ships to pass under."
Mr Kenagy noted that the bridge is projected to cost US$1.47 billion and is part of a 10-year, $4 billion set of improvements enabling the Port of Long Beach to remain modern, competitive and big-ship ready.