Tuesday, July 24, 2012

POLB Awards Bridge Replacement Contract

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a $649.5 million contract with a joint venture team for the design and construction of a replacement for the Port of Long Beach’s obsolete and deteriorating Gerald Desmond Bridge.

The team the contract was awarded to is headed by Shimmick Construction Co., FCC Construction SA and Impregilo SpA. The joint venture also includes subcontractors Arup North America Ltd. and Biggs Cardosa Associates Inc.

Final design and engineering is expected to begin shortly, with construction of the new bridge scheduled to start in 2013 and be completed in 2016.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the joint venture team finalize the designs and then get to work building the bridge that will serve our communities and the needs of international trade for years to come,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Susan E. Anderson Wise said.

The bridge replacement, which is designed to ease traffic congestion and improve safety, is being jointly procured by the port and the California Department of Transportation. Caltrans, Los Angeles County Metro and the U.S. Department of Transportation are among those contributing funds to the project.

While the contract for the joint venture is about $650 million, the total cost of the overall bridge replacement project is estimated at about $1 billion, including site preparation, demolition and other considerations. Over the four years of construction and demolition, the work is expected to employ nearly 3,000 people a year on average.

The Desmond Bridge, which opened in 1968, connects Terminal Island, which is the heart of the port complex, with the Long Beach (710) Freeway and downtown Long Beach.

The new bridge, rising more than 200 feet over the water, is designed to include a separate bicycle and pedestrian path.

The bridge replacement is a design-build project, which combines design and construction work into one contract to expedite the project and potentially reduce costs.