Tom Warne Report, 24 February 2012
LONG BEACH – The massive $950 million project to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge is forging ahead, with the bidding process scheduled to begin next week, on March 2. Port officials say the project will support an average of 4,000 jobs over the five-year span. The Harbor Commission approved $77 million this month for the first stage of relocating utilities at the site this year, out of a total of $135 million earmarked for the entire relocation process.
Four construction companies are submitting bids for the project, according to port officials: Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., Shimmick Construction Company, Skanska and Dragados USA, Inc. Long Beach Harbor officials will prepare the bid submittals for review by the Harbor Commission in early summer, according to Port spokesman Art Wong.
State highway and transportation bond funding will make up $500 million of the project’s total $950 million cost. Federal transportation funds are contributing $300 million, the Port of Long Beach will pay $114 million and Los Angeles County Metro will pay the remaining $28 million, according to Wong.
The new bridge will add a lane in each direction, for a total of six lanes, with construction expected to be underway early next year. Port officials expect the construction spending to generate $2.8 billion in economic activity for the Southland.