Trucks and cars drive across the new International Gateway Bridge as the old Gerald Desmond awaits demolition. Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

The massive new bridge connecting Terminal Island and Downtown Long Beach at the city’s port complex was officially named the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge today after receiving approval from the state Senate.

“Since our new bridge officially opened in 2020, it has been a bright new landmark for our city—welcoming visitors from close to home and around the world,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “The approval of its official name as the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge perfectly fits all that it represents, and we are excited to have it serve our community and our great port for generations to come.”

The span opened to traffic in October 2020 as a replacement for the 1960s-vintage Gerald Desmond Bridge, which was replaced to allow passage of larger cargo ships beneath. The original bridge was 155 feet above the water, but its replacement is 205 feet high.

Its construction was a roughly $1.6 billion project that included the new structure and the demolition of the original bridge. Crews began dismantling large sections of the original Gerald Desmond Bridge in July, with the demolition expected to be completed next year.

State legislation to name the new structure the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge was introduced following a public survey conducted last year in hopes of selecting a moniker. The measure was unanimously approved by both the state Assembly and Senate.

“Like our port and its workers, this iconic bridge represents the very best of Long Beach,” Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach and the bill’s author, said in a statement. “The International Gateway Bridge connects our great community and state to the entire world. With a fitting new name, our port will handle the largest cargo ships and meet the ever-increasing demands of today’s global supply chain.”