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State Route 47 Commodore Schuyler Heim Bridge Replacement

Commodore Schuyler Heim Bridge
© Stephen Schafer 2010 , HAER No. CA-HEIM
Commodore Schuyler Heim Bridge


The Commodore Schuyler Heim Bridge was built in 1948. As part of this project, the bridge was determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The lift-span portion of the existing Commodore Schuyler Heim Bridge will be replaced by a fixed-span bridge structure, which means the new bridge that spans the navigation channel will permanently be attached to support beams, as opposed to being able to move and lift upward for ships to pass beneath. It has been determined to be more cost effective to replace the structure than attempt to retrofit the bridge. The project location limits are between Ocean Boulevard and 1/4 mile south of State Route 103 in the cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The bridge will have six lanes, three in each direction, and will span 3/4 of a mile. 


Constructed in 1948, the existing lift-span bridge will be replaced by a fixed span structure that will conform to higher seismic standards, enhancing safety. Additionally, replacing a deteriorating structure with a new one will reduce maintenance costs and lead to improved roadway connections in the future.
The bridge will be constructed in stages:
  1. Stage one involves construction of the northbound portion over Cerritos Channel, expected to take approximately six months
  2. Stage two will shut down the northbound half of the existing bridge, shifting traffic to the existing southbound section
  3. Stage three will shift traffic to the newly completed northbound bridge, demolish the remainder of the existing bridge and construct the southbound portion
  4. Stages four, five and six will consist of finishing work.


The new bridge will provide a permanent navigable channel that is 180 feet wide with a vertical clearance of 47 feet to allow for the passage of ships. With the elimination of the lift, traffic will no longer be delayed due to passing ships. Replacing the lift-span bridge with a fixed-span bridge that meets current seismic standards will improve safety and benefit the local, state and national economy and international trade. 


$180 million 


Construction, which began in late 2011, is anticipated to be completed in the next few years. 


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