Port issues final EIR for Gerald Desmond Bridge; Harbor Board to vote August 9
2010-07-29 · By Editor
The Port of Long Beach has released the final environmental analysis for a plan to replace the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge with a new, nearly $1 billion span that would improve traffic flow, safety and vessel navigation. The document is available on the Port’s website and is scheduled on Aug. 9 to be considered for approval by the Board of Harbor Commissioners.
Earlier this year the Port completed the revised draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the project and solicited comments, holding two public hearings on the project. The final EIR incorporates and responds to those comments.
“The bridge is obsolete and deteriorating,” said Port Executive Director Richard D. Steinke. “The new bridge will add lanes for improved traffic flow and dedicated safety lanes to keep traffic moving if there’s a breakdown or accident.”
The Gerald Desmond Bridge, built in 1968, is a vital route for cargo, carrying about 15 percent of the nation’s goods. It is also a critical link for commuters, who make up about 75 percent of bridge traffic. The bridge serves as a connection for thousands of vehicles each day between Long Beach and San Pedro, and between Orange County and western Los Angeles County.
The new bridge would have three traffic lanes plus emergency lanes in both directions, making it safer and better able to accommodate cars and trucks on a major Southern California commuting route. The new bridge would be higher to allow for the newest generation of green cargo ships to pass underneath.
In addition, construction of the new bridge would create up to 4,000 jobs per year for five-to-six years.
“It’s critical that we replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge now. Rather than continue to pour money into maintaining a structure with major shortcomings, we have proposed a replacement bridge to meet our needs now and in the future. And construction will support thousands of badly needed jobs,” Steinke said.
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners is scheduled to consider the proposed final EIR at its Aug. 9 meeting.
For a project overview and links to the complete EIR, please visit www.polb.com/bridge.
The final EIR is also available for viewing at the locations listed below:
- Port of Long Beach Harbor Administration Building, 925 Harbor Plaza, Long Beach
- Long Beach Main Library, 101 Pacific Ave., Long Beach
- San Pedro Regional Branch Library, 931 Gaffey St., San Pedro
- Wilmington Branch Library, 1300 N. Avalon Blvd., Wilmington
If you would like to request a hard copy of the document or if you need additional information, please contact Stacey Crouch at (562) 590-4160.