Construction on a replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge isn't scheduled for another six months, but port authorities decided to throw a launch party for the $950-million project that will connect Terminal Island with the city of Long Beach. Not only is the Desmond bridge deteriorating, it's way too low to accommodate today's generation of container ships. From the Press-Telegram:
The 42-year-old bridge, designed to handle less than half of existing traffic volumes, has been severely strained in recent years as port volumes surged. In addition to frequent traffic jams, the bridge's superstructure is so decrepit that giant nets were placed on its underside to prevent concrete chunks from falling onto roadways and waterways below. The California Department of Transportation, Caltrans, gave the bridge a 48 (out of 100) "sufficiency rating" in a 2009, putting it high on the list of roadways needing replacement.
Amazing stat: The bridge carries 15 percent of the nation's entire cargo that moves by sea and truck.