scrap metal california
Scrap metal, a commodity frequently loaded at the port of Long Beach, will be generated by the dismantling of the Gerald Desmond Bridge.
Photo by Recycling Today staff.

Sizable bridge set for demo in California

Dismantling work on the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach, California, will start in May.

February 28, 2022

A 5,100-foot-long bridge near the port of Long Beach in California will start to be dismantled this May, according to a local media report.

According to the Los Angeles Times, port officials announced in late February that demolition work on the Gerald Desmond Bridge is set to begin in May.  A new bridge has been built next to the original 5,134-foot-structure, which opened in 1968, according to the Times.

The new bridge also is named after Gerald Desmond, who was a Long Beach city attorney who helped secure funding to build the first edition of the bridge.

A port official quoted by the newspaper credited the first bridge for helping to introduce a “golden age” to the Port of Long Beach. The new bridge, which opened in 2020, has been built to last for up to 100 years and to allow larger cargo vessels to pass beneath it.

According to the Times, “Demolition operations on the old bridge will start with the dismantling and removal of the main span.” That work will resort in a channel under the bridge being shut down for up to three days. Car and truck traffic on the new bridge will be unaffected.

Demolition work on the bridge is expected to cost nearly $60 million. A subsidiary of Omaha, Nebraska-based Kiewit Corp. submitted the winning bid to “dismantle and remove main steel truss spans, steel plate girder approaches, abutments, columns, access ramps, foundations and other pieces of the old bridge,” according to the Times.

The newspaper adds, “Metal and other materials removed from the old bridge will be hauled to a recycling site for salvaging and reuse.”