US$500M loan to help port handle bigger ships

The Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project will enable the Port of Long Beach to accommodate larger vessels. Photo: James R. Tourtellotte / Public domain Wikimedia

A US port will be able accommodate larger cargo vessels following confirmation of a loan to help finance a major infrastructure project.

The US Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau will provide a loan of US$500m to the City of Long Beach, California, acting through its Board of Harbor Commissioners (the Port of Long Beach). This loan will help finance construction of the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project, located at the Port of Long Beach. The new bridge’s 205ft vertical clearance will accommodate larger cargo vessels.

“This $500 million federal investment reflects the President’s continued emphasis on infrastructure that will reduce traffic congestion while enhancing the Port of Long Beach’s ability to handle large container ships to support economic growth in the region and the country,” said US transportation secretary, Elaine L. Chao.

The bridge is the primary link between the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, and the warehouses and rail yards north of the ports.  The project will replace an outdated structure constructed in 1968 with a cable-stayed bridge.  In addition to accommodating larger ships, the new bridge will accommodate increased vehicular traffic; provide emergency lanes in both directions;  improve safety; and reduce delays.

Substantial completion of the project is expected to occur in July, after which the existing structure will be demolished.

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