Caltrans Opens Public Comments for Vincent Thomas Bridge Construction
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is asking the community to chime in on the best way to proceed once construction begins on the Vincent Thomas Bridge in 2025. As the bridge is the only way to get to Terminal Island or the Port of Long Beach, Wilmington and Long Beach could be heavily impacted once construction begins.
The 60 year old suspension Bridge will be receiving a full deck replacement at a projected cost of $706 million. Caltrans has presented four different potential construction scenarios for the community to weigh in on to accomplish the comprehensive project while causing the least inconvenience:
Complete closure of the bridge for nine to 12 months with crews working day and night until it’s completed
Leaving one lane open during daylight hours, and closing the entire bridge on nights and weekends. This would take between one and a half to two years
Night and weekend closures for two to two and a half years with one lane open in each direction
The last two scenarios are also possible without the 55-hour weekend closures. This would add approximately six months to the project
“Because we have this extended construction period that we’re expecting, we’re really concerned about the detour routes and all the traffic that looks like it’s going to be routed through the community of Wilmington,” said Jason Roach, senior environmental planner for the project.
Roach says Caltrans officials are prioritizing avoiding or minimizing disruption to port-adjacent communities during work hours. Port of Long Beach spokesperson Lee Peterson said in a statement, “We are coordinating closely with the Port of Los Angeles and Caltrans to ensure this important work is accomplished while minimizing impacts to traffic. Caltrans is assessing impacts and, with the support of the two ports, developing mitigation measures.”
So far, there has been one virtual and one in-person public meeting to hear comments. Caltrans is accepting comments on the project until May 26.
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