The Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement finally opened. My wife, daughter, and I had to check out this massive addition to our skyline for ourselves. When you initially look at it, the bridge can be a little scary due to its sheer size. I am pleased to report however, that my five-year-old daughter has given it her seal of approval. It is not as interesting as a Disneyland attraction, but impressive, nonetheless. Please take a moment to admire this new addition to the Long Beach skyline. It will look even more striking when the old bridge comes down. The top of the new bridge is a whopping 515 feet tall! It is beautiful and much safer in an earthquake than its predecessor. With 50 extra feet of clearance, it now has 205 feet of vertical clearance which allows even larger boats to pass underneath. This increase in size will strengthen our trade infrastructure; in fact, 15% of the nation's imported waterborne cargo already goes through the old bridge. As a Downtown Long Beach resident, I have to point out how much better this bridge connects us to our salty cousin San Pedro and our affluent nearby friend Palos Verdes. This added connectivity will help all three communities. It makes the drive for people coming in from the 110 Freeway, San Pedro, and Palos Verdes much faster, smoother, and safer with three lanes going in both directions, a reduction of incline grade, and additional emergency lanes. My favorite part of the bridge is that there is a running, walking, and biking lane. It is not open yet but is expected to be opened sometime next year once they can do it safely. It will be called the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle and Pedestrian Path after the local visionary who had the idea to include it in the early planning stages of the bridge. I for one am grateful and will be jogging and blogging about it once it opens.
Mike Dunfee Group, Inc.