After more than five decades serving as a major corridor for moving the nation’s cargo, the Gerald Desmond Bridge was officially retired Saturday, May 7 in a ceremony that included city and harbor officials and members of the Desmond family.
“Gerald Desmond will always be remembered for securing the Tidelands oil funds that were needed to help pay for a bridge that helped the Port of Long Beach grow to where we are today,” port Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement. “We hope that this retirement ceremony is a fitting tribute to his legacy and for the Desmond family as we look ahead to the next chapter for this port complex.”
The bridge, which opened in 1968, was named in honor of the late Gerald Desmond, a city attorney and councilman who helped garner the funds needed to construct the span linking the city to Terminal Island. The bridge was decommissioned in October 2020 when its replacement, the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge, opened. Desmond’s name will live on as an outlook on the new bridge.
“We bid a fond farewell to a bridge that helped the Port thrive in a competitive industry, and honor the man for whom it was named,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal said in a statement. “We will always remember Gerald Desmond for the contributions he made to this city and this port.”