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I've Got A Bridge To Sell You - $1 Billion For Long Beach 'Desmond' Replacement

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Photo by nopantsboy via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr


Photo by nopantsboy via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
The Gerald Desmond Bridge near the Queen Mary is falling down, falling down, falling down. The Gerald Desmond Bridge near the Queen Mary is falling down, here's $1 billion dollars for a new one. I'm pretty sure that's how the song goes.

Caltrans and the Port of Long Beach are set to begin construction on a shiny, new suspension bridge to replace the "crumbling" reality of the current situation. Plans for the new bridge were presented dockside at an event today, "under the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge, a structure that is so decrepit that nets are slung under it to catch the chunks of concrete that frequently fall from it," reports the Beverly Hills Courier. One estimate suggests that "15 percent of the goods imported or exported from the United States cross the narrow, four-lane bridge en route to or from the docks."

In addition to not falling down, the new bridge will be higher to allow larger cargo ships through the inner part of the Long Beach harbor, and wider to improve traffic flow from Terminal Island and the 710 Long Beach Freeway.

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According to NBC Local, "Officials said the construction project is expected to create about 4,000 jobs a year and generate about $2 billion in economic activity."

The Desmond was completed in 1968 as an alternative to the dangerous, "floating pontoon bridge," that was in place at the time. Caltrans expects the Desmond's replacement to be completed in 2016.