Port of Long Beach Awards Design-Build Contract for the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project


Long Beach, California (July 23, 2012) The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a $649.5 million dollar contract for the design and construction of a replacement for the Port of Long Beach's obsolete and deteriorating Gerald Desmond Bridge. The design-build agreement is the single largest contract ever awarded by the Port. A Nossaman team, led by Patrick Harder, advised the Port of Long Beach and its Board of Harbor Commissioners on procurement and contract issues for this high-profile and groundbreaking cable-stayed bridge project.

"The new Gerald Desmond Bridge will be an essential part of the region's infrastructure that will play a vital role in California's transportation and economic future," said Caltrans District 7 Director Mike Miles in a statement. "A design-build approach will expedite this project and helps us improve mobility for goods, people and services."

A joint venture team headed by Shimmick Construction Co. Inc., FCC Construction S.A. and Impregilo S.p.A. (SFI) will design and construct the replacement bridge, which will rise more than 200 feet over the water and include a separate bicycle and pedestrian path. The new bridge will be the first long-span cable-stayed bridge built in California and will enable post-Panamax ships greater access to the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles. Construction of the new bridge, designed to ease traffic and congestion and improve safety, is expected to start in 2013 and is scheduled for completion in 2016. The Port of Long Beach and the California Department of Transportation jointly procured the project and the Los Angeles County Metro and U.S. Department of Transportation contributed additional funds for the project.

The Gerald Desmond span, which opened in 1968, is a major commuting route for the region, and a major trade corridor, carrying 15 percent of all containerized cargo imported to the United States. The bridge connects Terminal Island, the heart of the port complex, with the Long Beach (710) Freeway as well as downtown Long Beach.

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 5,000 people a year on average.

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