Long Beach officials are hosting a meeting Saturday to share updates on a proposed project that would realign Shoreline Drive Downtown and replace Shoemaker Bridge to make way for acres of usable green space.

At the noon meeting, officials are expected to share proposals for a new bridge design, sources of funding, an estimated construction timeline and more, according to a city notice. The meeting will begin at noon in the Jenny Oropeza Community Center at Cesar Chavez Park, which sits just east of the proposed project area.

Long Beach received a $30 million grant from the federal government earlier this year through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot program, which is aimed at letting local agencies remove structures that have limited connectivity, access to green space or economic development.

Currently, Shoreline Drive has a southbound exit from the 710 Freeway and a northbound entrance, both of which connect to the Shoemaker Bridge. However, the proposed project would eliminate the northbound lane and widen the current southbound lanes to allow for both directions of traffic.

Before and after renderings show the impacts of the Shoemaker Bridge replacement and Shoreline Drive realignment projects. Courtesy of the city of Long Beach.

The result would be 5.5 acres of usable green space added to Cesar Chavez Park and a new bike lane connecting Seventh Street to the Los Angeles River trail. The project would also eliminate the current entrances to the 710 Freeway from Ocean Boulevard and Third Street.

Earlier this year, the city’s Public Works Department estimated the realignment would cost about $60 million; however, the replacement of the Shoemaker Bridge will be much more expensive and it’s unclear where that funding would come from.

A city memo published earlier this year showed that Long Beach is asking for $650 million from the state and federal governments to help cover the bridge costs. Officials have said the project is a major priority since the bridge will be a main entry point to the city when Long Beach hosts some events during the 2028 Olympics.

Early renderings of the new bridge have shown it connecting to a roundabout on the eastern side of the LA River. The roundabout would connect traffic to the new Shoreline Drive lanes that would run parallel to the river or onto Seventh Street, which is expected to become a two-way street in the future.

The meeting is scheduled for noon on Dec. 9 at the Jenny Oropeza Community Center, which is at 401 Golden Ave. 

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.