Los Angeles: FCC begins construction work on $650 million replacement bridge

desmond bridge

Spanish infrastructure and environmental services group, FCC, has begun work to replace the historic Gerald Desmond Bridge in Los Angeles. Built in the 1960s, it currently carries more than 15% of the waterborne cargo traffic of the United States.

Upon completion, it will have the tallest span height for a cable-stayed bridge in the US. FCC workers are currently carrying out test piling on both sides of the existing bridge, and have demolished the Pier T Avenue – an auxiliary access ramp.

FCC was awarded the $650m (£400m) design and build contract in July 2012 as part of a joint venture with local group Shimmick Construction Company Inc (40%) and the Italian company Impregilo SpA (30 %). Employing over 3,000 workers, the full project will take four years to complete with the replacement bridge due to be completed in 2016.

The new bridge will be cable-stayed, 305 metres long, with 61 metres of vertical clearance above the Back Channel of the Port of Long Beach. The bridge will have three motor vehicle lanes in each direction, emergency lanes on both sides for additional safety, and cycle and pedestrian lanes.

The new bridge will improve traffic flow, increase safety, and have a highly positive impact on the economy of southern California. The replacement bridge will be built adjacent to the existing Gerald Desmond Bridge, which will remain open and in service until the new span is completed.