UPDATE: Harbor Commission meeting will take place on December 19th, 2011. The meeting will be held on the 6th floor of the Port headquarters at 5:00 pm. The building is located just south of the Queen’s Way bridge at 925 Harbor Plaza, Long Beach.
Received word today that the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement is one significant step closer to including a bicycle and pedestrian path. The City of Long Beach’s Bicycle Coordinator, Allan Crawford, reports that the Harbor Commission is to meet at a 5pm hearing December 19th to review and likely approve the Final Environmental Impact Report, which amends the Harbor Development Permit for the bridge replacement.
The language of the revised Final EIR, which we have a quote from below, specifies the need for the final design to include an at minimum 12′ wide, bi-directional bicycle and pedestrian path on the south side of the bridge.
Mark Bixby, we think, would be quite happy about the development. Bixby, who passed away this past March, was an ardent support of creating a bicycle-friendly Gerald Desmond bridge, which connects the City of Long Beach to Terminal Island.
Long Beach’s Crawford notes that the Port of Long Beach is expected to select a contractor for the project in March. After a design period of 12 to 18 months, and then construction, the bridge is scheduled to open in March 2016. There’s also discussion about ensuring that the bridge’s path connects to the nearby L.A. River trail. More on this to come in the future. Thanks to Allan for passing on all the information.
From the Final EIR up for approval:
Class 1 Bike Path:
1. PRIOR TO COMMENCEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION, the permittee (Port of Long Beach) shall submit to the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission for review and approval, one (1) full size set of final project plans approved by the Port of Long Beach, which shall clearly depict the inclusion of a Class 1 bikeway as described in Section 20 (Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities) of the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Design-Build Request for Proposals dated September 2, 2011. The plans shall specifically include the following:
a. A single, continuous, non-motorized Class 1 bikeway (bike path) connecting SR 47 to Pico Avenue. The Class I bikeway shall be a minimum of 12 feet wide, and signed and striped for two-way movement. The Class I bikeway shall be located along the south side of the main span and approach bridges, and shall be at essentially the same elevation as the bridge deck. Protective railiings shall be of an open design that provides and protects public views from the bridge. The approximate western termination point for the Class I bikeway shall be at grade in the northeast quadrant of the SR 47 / Ocean Boulevard intersection. The approximate eastern termination point for the Class 1 bikeway shall be at grade on the west side of Pico Avenue, at a location across from the intersection of Pico Avenue and the off-ramp from westbound Ocean Boulevard…
More info at BikeableCommunities.org.