Port of Long Beach bags $500 million loan

The Port of Long Beach has secured a $500 million loan from the U.S. Government to help finance a massive infrastructural project aimed at allowing larger ships to enter the port.

“This $500 million federal investment reflects the President’s continued emphasis on infrastructure that will reduce traffic congestion while enhancing the Port of Long Beach’s ability to handle large container ships to support economic growth in the region and the country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The loan will help finance the construction of the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project, which is located at the Port of Long Beach at the southern end of State Route 710 in Los Angeles County. 

It is the primary link between the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the two largest container ports in the United States, and the warehouses and rail yards north of the ports.

The purpose of the project is to replace an outdated structure constructed in 1968 with a state of the art cable-stayed bridge. 

The new bridge will have 205-foot vertical clearance allowing for the port to accommodate larger cargo vessels. 

Almost exactly two years after construction began on the main span of the new bridge, the last major steel floor beam was put in place at the end of April 2020, marking a significant milestone in the bridge’s construction.

Substantial completion of the project is expected to occur in July of 2020, after which the existing structure will be demolished. California’s first cable-stayed bridge for vehicles is expected to open later this year.

The loan will replace a $325 million TIFIA loan which closed in 2014, but remains undrawn, the U.S. Transportation Department said. 

The principal amount has been increased to assist the port with additional costs arising from the implementation of more robust design and lifecycle features. 

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