The transition ramp that connects truckers and motorists traveling east from Terminal Island along Ocean Boulevard to the northbound 710 Freeway in Long Beach is scheduled to permanently close. This is so it can be demolished to make room for the construction of a new connector ramp.
The northbound connector ramp could close as soon as 6 a.m. June 11. The actual date for the closure may change depending on weather and other factors.
When the connector ramp closes, eastbound traffic on the Gerald Desmond Bridge and heading north to the 710 Freeway will be briefly diverted onto northbound Pico Avenue. It will then travel about one-half mile on Pico before rejoining the northbound 710 Freeway. The detour route will include three left-turn lanes for traffic leaving the bridge and turning north onto Pico at a lighted intersection.
The eastbound Ocean-to-northbound-710 detour will remain in place for about one year until construction of the replacement bridge is completed and open to traffic in mid-to-late 2019.
Demolishing the northbound 710 connector ramp will require a short-term closure of southbound Harbor Scenic Drive, which passes under it. Southbound Harbor Scenic Drive is the primary route from the southbound 710 Freeway to the Queen Mary, cruise lines and nearby hotels, as well as to Port of Long Beach Piers F-J. To access these areas, the recommended detour for motorists is southbound I-710 to the “Downtown Long Beach” exit and Shoreline Drive. Under current plans, southbound Harbor Scenic Drive will close for a few days in early July to permit the demolition of the old 710 connector ramp. Exact dates for this brief closure will be announced later in June.
Demolition of the eastbound Ocean Boulevard/northbound I-710 connector ramp is required to build the new ramp connecting the new bridge to the northbound 710.
When completed, the new bridge will include six traffic lanes and four emergency shoulders, a higher clearance to accommodate large cargo ships, a bike and pedestrian path with scenic overlooks, and more efficient transition ramps and connectors to improve traffic flow, especially among trucks.