Earlier this year, the City of Long Beach scored $30 million in federal funding for a realignment of Shoreline Drive which will clear the way for a nearly six-acre expansion of Cesar E. Chavez Park. In a complementary effort, Long Beach officials have now unveiled plans for a rebuild of the bridge which connects Shoreline to the 710 Freeway across the Los Angeles River.
The Long Beach Post reports that the $900-million replacement of the aging Shoemaker Bridge would be a new cable-stayed structure, using 240-foot-tall arches to support a 765-foot-long bridge. Plans also call for a new roundabout which would circulate vehicle traffic going to and from Downtown Long Beach to the east.
"This bridge will be the first monument people see when they visit Long Beach," said Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson on the website formerly known as Twitter. The proposed design will permanently transform the city landscape to re-connect communities, bring vital economic development to the region, and welcome visitors from all over the world to our incredible city."
As with the nearby Long Beach International Gateway bridge, which carried an even bigger $1.5 billion price tag, the project would not just cater to motorists. The Post reports that the new Shoemaker Bridge may also include a protected bike lane connecting Fashion Avenue to the Los Angeles River bike path and a new pedestrian observation area.
Likewise, the new structure is intended to be friendlier to wildlife, using fewer support piers to allow more freedom of movement within the river channel below.
City officials hope to complete work on the new bridge in advance of the 2028 Summer Olympics.
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