by MN Gordon
The grand plans of our local officials in Long Beach have been foiled by the corona-virus bug. After seven years of construction, at a cost of $1.5 billion, they can’t even hold a proper ribbon-cutting.
The special occasion is the grand opening of the new, yet to be named, Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, a virtual ceremony is planned for the Friday leading into the Labor Day weekend.
Virtual ceremonies, like professional baseball games with recorded fan noises, are Dumb with a capital D. But, perhaps, this is the fitting grand opening of an edifice that was planned and constructed for a world that may never arrive.
Certainly, the new bridge structure, which has the highest vertical clearance of any cable-stayed bridge in the US, is a remarkable engineering achievement. The cable-stayed design also has a signature aesthetic. We have watched it go up over the years; it really is extraordinary.