Local

710 freeway connector to close for 2 and a half years

Trucks move along the I-710 freeway in the predawn hours of Thursday, July 7, 2005, into the Port of Long Beach, Calif. A connector between the southbound 710 Freeway and westbound Ocean Boulevard will be closed beginning Saturday for the next two and a half years.
Trucks move along the I-710 freeway in the predawn hours of Thursday, July 7, 2005, into the Port of Long Beach, Calif. A connector between the southbound 710 Freeway and westbound Ocean Boulevard will be closed beginning Saturday for the next two and a half years.
Chris Carlson

A connector between the southbound 710 Freeway and westbound Ocean Boulevard will be closed beginning Saturday for the next two and a half years.

Crews need to demolish the ramp to make way for new connectors as part of the $1.2 billion Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project. 

Denis Wolcott with the Port of Long Beach says the connector closure shouldn't have a major impact on traffic during those 30 months, but commuters should still plan ahead. 

"So motorists will be leaving the 710, getting off at Pico Avenue, using surface streets for just about a quarter mile, and then rejoining the freeway at Ocean Boulevard," said Wolcott. 

The new bridge will be taller with a deck 205 feet above water. It'll include additional lanes, a higher clearance for taller cargo ships, and a bike path and pedestrian walkway. The bridge is expected to open in 2016.