Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Long Beach Commission Approves Bridge Replacement Contract

The Port of Long Beach’s Board of Harbor Commissioners on May 14 gave its preliminary approval to a contract to design and build a replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, the nearly 45-year-old corridor that crosses the Cerritos Channel.

The commission voted unanimously to award a $649 million contract to a consortium of companies that includes Shimmick Construction, FCC Construction and Impreglio SpA. The project consists of replacement of the current bridge, which has been structurally obsolete for years and faces critical maintenance issues.

“Today is an historic day,” commissioner Rich Dines said at the time of the vote. “I look forward to having this bridge built on time and under budget and creating many thousands of jobs. It’s been a long time coming.”

According to the port, replacement of the bridge will increase the water-to-bridge clearance from 154 feet to 205 feet, allowing larger ships to call at the port’s inner harbor terminals. The work to be performed includes building a six lane, cable-stayed bridge; the current bridge has four lanes and has a through arch design.

The consortium beat out two other companies for the contract and was not only the lowest bidder, but its technical proposal was ranked the highest by the selection committee, which included a representative each from the port, the California Dept. of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the three agencies that are teaming to pay for the project.

Under port bylaws, a second vote by the commission is needed to formally ratify the agreement; that vote’s expected to take place in late June. Construction could begin as soon as early 2013.