Crews began constructing the new 515-foot tall bridge towers for the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement Monday, completing their initial foundation pour at 8:00AM this morning. A total of 3,200 cubic yards of concrete were poured in and around 2,240 square feet of rebar, completing the important “pile cap.”
“Today’s ‘big pour’ is a significant milestone in the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project and the result of months of planning, preparation and cooperation,” said Duane Kenagy, Capital Programs senior executive lead for the port. “This pile cap will enable us to begin constructing the first signature tower that will rise 515 feet and connect the cables to the road deck.”
According to a release issued by the Port of Long Beach (POLB) Tuesday, when it is completed (estimated to be in 2018), the bridge will be one of the tallest of its kind in the U.S. and it will be the first cable-stayed bridge in California.
In fact, the bridge pour involved 320 truckloads of concrete and support from more than 350 reinforced concrete piles constructed down to 190 feet in the ground. It took six weeks to build a rebar structure and connect 12 underground piles into a single unit, according to the Port.
The Gerald Desmond Bridge will remain in use while the replacement bridge is built. When completed, the new bridge will offer six traffic lanes, four emergency shoulders, a higher clearance for tall cargo ships and the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle and Pedestrian Path with views of the port.
Photo courtesy of the Port of Long Beach.