Long Beach's 7th Street Bridge reopening after a year

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Drivers heading into Long Beach beginning Saturday morning have an easier commute. The detour signs leave as the 7th Street Bridge reopens after being closed for a year. The key connector is used by 30,000 people a day.

The 7th Street connector bridge links to northbound 405 and westbound 22 (the Garden Grove freeway) in Long Beach.

Reconstruction on the bridge was needed to create new carpool lanes on the 405 beneath the bridge.

Orange County Transportation Authority CEO Will Kempton said the $277 million project will directly connect carpool lanes on the 405, the 605 and the 22, so drivers won’t have to scramble to jump in and out of the lanes.

“These direct connectors will provide for seamless connection between the freeways for High Occupancy Vehicles," he explained, "and that’s a very positive thing. We think it will have a significant impact, positive impact on congestion.”

The highway project will eventually add a new six-mile carpool lane on a stretch of the 405 Freeway in Orange County.

The entire project is expected to be completed in 2014.