Orange County Branch Newsletter

April 2018

ASCE OC Programs and Structural Engineering Institute

Construction Update of the Gerald Desmond Bridge



Lynn Ogdiiv, P.E.

The ASCE Orange County Branch, in cooperation with the Orange County Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Chapter and the Orange County Construction Institute (CI), held a luncheon on March 15, 2018 featuring speaker Zeph Varley who presented on the construction of the Port of Long Beach Gerald Desmond Bridge project. 

The speaker, Zeph Varley, is a senior supervising construction engineer for WSP and has over 20 years of field construction experience. He is currently assigned to the Project Management and Construction Management (PMCM) team under contract with the Port of Long Beach for the construction of the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project. Zeph is a University of Michigan civil engineering graduate, a PE in California, Michigan, and Washington, and a CMAA Certified Construction Manager. Zeph's role on the project is Independent Quality Assurance (IQA) engineering and inspection of Maintenance of Traffic (MOT), roadway construction, utilities, and MSE wall construction.

The speaker discussed the Who, What, When, Where, Why and HOW? of the project and its construction in great depth. Both the constructability and technical design aspects of the project were presented, with additional information on project funding and updates on ongoing construction schedules. The bridge is currently under construction with the goal of completion by the end of 2019. The Gerald Desmond Bridge has become a vital part of the nation's infrastructure, with nearly 15 percent of the nation's waterborne cargo crossing the bridge on trucks. It is a critical access route for the Port of Long Beach, downtown Long Beach, and surrounding communities. The new bridge will be built with a cable-stayed design and will be high enough to accommodate the newest generation of cargo ships. In addition, the new bridge will be wider and better able to accommodate existing and future traffic volumes, with the potential to expand the existing channels. The Gerald Desmond Bridge has been designated as a National Highway System Intermodal Connector Route and part of the Federal Strategic Highway Network. It is a critical structure serving the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the City of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Orange counties, and the nation. Building the new bridge will generate about 3,000 jobs.

Presentation slides of the luncheon will be available by ASCE OC soon.

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