Eastbound traffic patterns coming off the Gerald Desmond Bridge will change starting Friday evening, Nov. 30, when one of two off-ramps to Pico Avenue will close permanently. The closure is needed to make way for construction of the bridge replacement project.
All traffic traveling east from the Gerald Desmond Bridge will still be funneled onto Pico Avenue where vehicles can reach either the northbound 710 Freeway or the Ocean Boulevard detour heading into downtown Long Beach. Instead of two off-ramps, there will be only one.
As motorists descend from the bridge, those heading north to the 710 should remain in the left lanes, and motorists wishing to reach downtown Long Beach should stay in the right lane.
“With all eastbound traffic now using one off-ramp, we encourage all travelers to exercise good judgment and patience. Watch your speed and be aware that traffic may suddenly slow as you reach this single off-ramp area,” said Duane Kenagy, Port of Long Beach Capital Programs Executive.
Motorists are being advised to monitor traffic conditions and allow additional time to travel this section of the construction area. Traffic signals and designated turning lanes are being adjusted to help maintain vehicle flow in this area.
To prepare for the ramp closure, there will be a brief overnight detour of eastbound traffic away from the Gerald Desmond Bridge. Starting around 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, eastbound traffic will be diverted at SR-47. The detour is scheduled to be lifted by Saturday morning.
After its completion, currently forecast for late 2019, the new cable-stayed bridge will include six traffic lanes and four emergency shoulders, a higher clearance to accommodate large cargo ships, a bike and pedestrian path with scenic overlooks, and more efficient transition ramps and connectors to improve traffic flow, especially among trucks.
The $1.47 billion project will provide the Port of Long Beach and greater port complex a state-of-the-art bridge capable of meeting the needs for international cargo movement for the next 100 years. The Long Beach bridge project is a joint effort of Caltrans and the Port of Long Beach, with additional funding support from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).
To watch construction live via webcams and for other details, visit www.newgdbridge.com.