710 Connector with Ocean Boulevard to Close for 30 Months

It's all part of the $1.2 billion Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project.

The Gerald Desmond Bridge. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.
The Gerald Desmond Bridge. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

The connector between the southbound Long Beach (710) Freeway and westbound Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach will be closed for 30 months beginning Saturday as part of the $1.2 billion Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project.

"We have spent the past several months preparing for this closure, and have made key improvements to ensure a smooth flow of traffic along the detour route," said John Pope of the Port of Long Beach. "However, we recognize that closing this connector may cause some impacts, and we encourage motorists to use alternate routes if they have the option."

About half of the vehicles using the connector ramp travel to the Port of Los Angeles. The closure is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

When the connector closes, southbound 710 freeway traffic heading to Terminal Island will be diverted briefly onto southbound Pico Avenue, then to an onramp that joins westbound Ocean Boulevard to cross the Gerald Desmond Bridge.

Trucks and other vehicles whose destination is beyond the Port of Long Beach are being asked to consider using the Harbor (110) Freeway, State Route 47, or other alternate routes to avoid the surface street detour.

The Port of Long Beach has partnered with Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, Long Beach Police Department and other organizations to put measures in place to keep traffic moving, Pope said.

During the two-month demolition phase of the ramp replacement project, various short-term closures will temporarily impact area streets. One of those short-term closures will occur over the Memorial Day weekend, when officials will close southbound Harbor Scenic Drive, the primary route from the southbound 710 to piers F-J, the Queen Mary, the cruise terminal and south waterfront hotels.

The replacement project will result in a new bridge with a deck 205 feet above water. It will include additional traffic lanes, a higher clearance to accommodate the new generation of cargo ships, and a dedicated bicycle path and pedestrian walkway, including scenic overlooks, Pope said.

--City News Service


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