POLB Begins Dismantling Gerald Desmond Bridge

The Gerald Desmond Bridge. Photo via Port of Long Beach.

After more than five decades serving as a vital artery for the nation’s cargo movement, the Gerald Desmond Bridge has officially started coming down.

Crews on Saturday took down the 410-foot center part of the bridge and placed it onto a giant barge in one whole piece.

“This moment has been 20 years in the making, from the time we started planning to replace the Gerald Desmond with a taller, wider and safer bridge,” Port Executive Director Mario Cordero said.

The Gerald Desmond Bridge, which first opened to traffic in 1968, was named after the late Long Beach city attorney and councilman who helped find the funding to construct a bridge that would connect the city to Terminal Island. The bridge was retired in October 2020 with the opening of its larger, better-accommodating replacement, the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge.

The Gerald Desmond Bridge is expected to be completely demolished by the end of next year.

“The new bridge serves as a symbol of our ongoing commitment to strengthening our infrastructure and maintaining our position as a leader in trans-Pacific trade,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal said. “The Gerald Desmond Bridge served this port well for over 50 years, and we look ahead to how its replacement will usher us into a new era of growth.”

By Karen Robes Meeks