- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) - A new bridge being built at the Port of Long Beach is $300 million over budget and officials say its completion will be delayed at least a year.

The massive $1.26 billion span that will replace the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge won’t be completed until late 2017 or early 2018, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday (https://lat.ms/V37Pqs). It was originally slated to open by the end of 2016.

Officials attributed the delay to design issues, including holdups in getting approval for certain designs from Caltrans.

“This is a complex design,” the port’s acting executive director, Al Moro, said at a recent meeting of the city Harbor Commission. “We need to be very thorough and we need to get it right. We have one chance at this.”

The replacement bridge is being built under a design-build model, meaning construction began a few months ago on the foundation even though only about 70 percent of the structure has been designed.

Some officials expressed disappointment about the revised timeline.

“I think that this is something that should have been under control before,” Harbor Commissioner Richard Dines said at the meeting.

It isn’t clear yet how much the delay could cost the Port of Long Beach, which is managed by the city of Long Beach and is responsible for shouldering cost overruns.

The project, which has been more than 10 years in the making, is already more than $300 million over budget from its original $950 million price tag - mostly due to work done to clear a path for the new bridge through oil fields.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, https://www.latimes.com

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