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Long Beach International Gateway Bridge

Long Beach International Gateway Bridge, Bridge, Long Beach, Terminal Island

Long Beach International Gateway Bridge, shortly after opening in 2020. Photo by Delia Thornton for the Los Angeles Almanac.

Some Facts About the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge
(between Long Beach and Terminal Island)

Tallest and longest bridge in Los Angeles County

Type: Cable-stayed
Opened: October 5, 2020
Cost: $1.5 billion (valued $1.8 billion in 2024)
Total Length: 8,800 feet (1.7 miles or 2,700 meters)
Main span: 1,000 feet (300 meters)
Back Spans on both sides: 500 feet each (150 meters each)
Approach Spans on both sides: 2,800 feet (850 meters) on west approach; 2,600 on east approach
Height of Towers: 515 feet (157 meters)
Vertical Clearance: 205 feet (62 meters)
Width: 80 feet (24 meters)
Daily Vehicle Traffic: No current data. Average daily traffic for predecessor Gerald Desmond Bridge was 62,000 vehicles when contract for new bridge was signed in 2012.

Designed to last 100 years with minimal maintenance. Considered one of the most seismically-advanced structures in the United States.

Construction of the bridge required:

  • 18 million pounds of structural steel (U.S.-made)
  • 75 million pounds of rebar (U.S.-made)
  • 1.7 million feet of steel cable (322 miles in combined length; also U.S.-made)

The Long Beach International Gateway Bridge, with its highest span 205 feet above water, is the highest cable-stayed bridge in the United States. Its twin towers, each rising 515 feet, also make it the nation’s second-tallest cable-stayed bridge (second only to the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina).

The main span of the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge is only 1,000 feet long as compared to the nearby Vincent Thomas Bridge's main span of 1,500 feet and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge's main span of 4,200 feet.

The Long Beach International Gateway Bridge was initially named the "Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Bridge" for the first eight months after opening. In May 2021, the new official name "Long Beach International Gateway Bridge" was announced, selected through a public survey.

The bike-pedestrian lane/observation decks on the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge is named the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian path. It is named for Mark Bixby, an advocate for a bike lane on the new bridge and descendant of Long Beach founding Bixby family. He was killed in an aircraft crash at Long Beach Airport in 2011.

Preceeding the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge was the Gerald Desmond Bridge which had carried traffic between Long Beach and Terminal Island from 1968 until 2020. It was fully demolished by August 2023. The Gerald Desmond Bridge had been named for Gerald Desmond, a prominent Long Beach politician and civic leader who served as a Long Beach City Councilmember and City Attorney and was a prominent civic leader during the 1950s and early 1960s.