US$900 million Shoemaker Bridge designs unveiled, Long Beach

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Renderings for the US$900 million Shoemaker Bridge in Long Beach, California, have been unveiled. The bridge will replace a current bridge that connects Shoreline to the 710 Freeway across the Los Angeles River. It will have a new cable-stayed structure, using 240-foot-tall arches to support a 765-foot-long bridge. Additionally, there are plans for a new roundabout which would circulate vehicle traffic going to and from Downtown Long Beach to the east.

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Some other proposed features include a protected bike lane. It will connect Fashion Avenue to the Los Angeles River bike path on the east side of the river. Additionally, a pedestrian observation point on the south side of the bridge that looks toward Downtown. The design shown to the public has not been finalized.

Funding for the project sections

The city of Long Beach received a US$30 million federal grant earlier this year for the realignment section of the project. This section adds northbound lanes alongside Shoreline Drive’s current southbound lanes. Furthermore, it eliminates the separate northbound section that has left an unusable patch of green space west of Cesar E. Chavez Park for decades. It has been estimated that part of the project will cost about US$60 million.

Shoemaker Bridge Long Beach project costs

Projected costs to build the bridge have grown significantly through the years. Originally, it was estimated to cost $350 million but that escalated to $650 million earlier this year. Now, city officials say Long Beach is looking to secure $900 million for the project. The city hopes to build in advance of the 2028 Olympics.

What happens when the bridge is completed?

Once the bridge is complete, the Sixth Street exit will be eliminated. Further, Seventh Street will become a two-way street to allow traffic to enter and exit the 710 through the new roundabout. Moreover, the bridge’s design is expected to allow more wildlife movement for animals living in the river below because it will have fewer piers in its base. According to reports, the design is also expected to be able to withstand seismic activity and sea level rise.