Saturday, June 20, 2015

Los Angeles County, California Bridges: Vincent Thomas Bridge across the Cerritos Channel

August 1999 (33.74944 Degrees-118.27111 Degrees) Vincent Thomas Bridge
The last highway bridge onto Terminal Island is the Vincent Thomas Bridge. It's a 6000 ft long suspension bridge with a 1500 ft long main span and 506 ft long side spans. It carries State Route 47 from San Pedro Island 195 ft above the Cerritos Channel to Terminal Island. It was constructed by John A. Roebling Sons and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

As I previously mentioned, the bridge was the creation of the larger than life personality of (William) Jim Jurkovich. However, I don't know if Jim was prouder of this bridge or of playing halfback for the UC Bruins in the 1940s. Unlike the other Terminal Island Bridges, the Vincent Thomas Bridge got a seismic retrofit in the 1990s and should be good for another 50 years.
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Los Angeles County, California Bridges: Vincent Thomas Bridge across the Cerritos Channel by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Los Angeles County, California Bridges: Schuyler Heim Bridges across the Back Channel in San Pedro Bay

June 2015 (33.7661 Degrees, -118.2394 Degrees) Schuyler Heim Bridges
The photo above was taken 16 years ago of the new (gray) Badger Street Lift Railroad Bridge next to the old (green) Schuyler Heim Lift Bridge. Today, a new Schuyler Heim Bridge is being built and will be completed by the end of 2016 (see photo below).  The Ports were concerned that none of the bridges that carry vehicles on and off Terminal Island were designed to stay in service for the design earthquake. To address this concern, the new Schuyler Heim was allocated an additional 10% for an enhanced seismic design. Caltrans feels confident that all three bridges have a robust seismic design that should keep the highway bridges in service following a large earthquake. The two Ports handle 40% of the goods that move in and out of the U.S. so it's important to minimize disruptions to the transportation system. The Alameda Corridor allows trains to move from the Ports through Los Angeles without any at-grade crossings. Also, a new switching yard is being built next the Ports. With the new Schuyler Heim Bridge, truck traffic should also be able to move into and out of the Ports without disruptions.
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Los Angeles County, California Bridges: Schuyler Heim Bridges across the Back Channel in San Pedro Bay by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Los Angeles County, California Bridges: Gerald Desmond Bridge across Cerritos Channel

August 1999 (33.7645 Degrees, -118.2214 Degrees) Gerald Desmond Bridge
We last viewed the Gerald Desmond Bridge in my blog of March 3rd, 2009. It's a steel through truss arch bridge that was built in 1968 by the Port of Long Beach. They'd like to replace it with a taller bridge to allow bigger cargo ships to pass under it and into the Port.

Originally, HNTB was designing the cable-stayed replacement bridge, but when it was almost done the State decided they could save money with a design/build contract, which was then awarded to Arup and Shimmick Construction. The proposed bridge is shown below.
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Los Angeles County, California Bridges: Gerald Desmond Bridge across Cerritos Channel by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.