$1 Million in Appropriations for Critical Infrastructure Improvements to the Shoemaker Bridge

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shoemaker-bridgeThe City of Long Beach will receive $1 million in federal appropriations for construction of the Shoemaker Bridge. The funding was included in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2010, which passed the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday. The full Appropriations Committee is expected to affirm the measure next week and the House is expected to pass the bill before the August recess.

“It only takes one visit to our downtown area to understand that priority repairs are needed for the Shoemaker Bridge,” Congresswoman Richardson said. “This is a critical allocation of funding, as Americans all across this country have asked for investments in jobs and tangible results. The bridge and its ramps were constructed over fifty years ago and do not meet current Caltrans design standards regarding transportation safety and mobility. With forty-five percent of all U.S. imports and a half a million people traveling through our district, it is absolutely essential that we invest in the bridges and highways that serve as the gateway between our community and the nation’s economy.”

The appropriations secured by Congresswoman Richardson will be used to make safety and seismic upgrades and improvements to the Shoemaker Bridge and its adjoining ramps. Specifically, the City of Long Beach will reconfigure the bridge south to Golden Avenue, realign the on-and-off ramps between Broadway and 7th Street, improve current deficiencies to increase motorist safety and provide alternative routes to and from the City during construction.

“This investment will pay dividends to the Long Beach community in many diverse ways, including doubling the size of Cesar Chavez Park, helping to revitalize our downtown community and reducing congestion and providing better transportation around the city, even as 3,000 new condominium units are added to the downtown region,” Congresswoman Richardson noted.

The Shoemaker Bridge is a part of Interstate 710, which is the principle North-South freeway that connects the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the Greater Los Angeles area and beyond, serving as a significant link in the Goods Movement Corridor. Additionally, the I-710 connects with several important freeways in the region and serves as the major travel route for passenger vehicles into downtown Long Beach.

This year alone, Congresswoman Richardson has secured over $3 million in federal appropriations and over $66 million in Recovery Act funding for the City of Long Beach and the 37th Congressional District. However, the $3 million in appropriations that have been secured so far is only part of the overall strategy Congresswoman Richardson is utilizing to obtain federal funding for transportation in our area. While Recovery Act grants continue to come in on a regular basis, the Congresswoman will also continue to fight to ensure that other critical projects in our area are funded in the upcoming Surface Transportation Authorization bill which is up for review in the Congresswoman’s committee.

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