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CA-103 Commodore Schuyler F. Heim/Henry Ford Bridge

Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge

Horizontal clearance: 180 feet
Vertical clearance: 38 feet (bridge down); 163 feet (bridge up)

The Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge crosses the Cerritos Channel at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, was commissioned by the United States Navy between 1946 and 1948, and is one of three bridges that connect Terminal Island to the mainland. The bridge was named for Commodore Schuyler F. Heim, commanding officer of the Terminal Island Naval Base during World War II. The United States Navy completed construction of the bridge in 1948 and then turned it over to the City of Long Beach, which operated the bridge until 1974. The Heim Bridge is a vertical-lift structure with a 73-meter (240-foot span. It has an 820-ton movable (lift) span that is supported by two cross-braced steel towers suspended by cables, and a pair of 400+-ton counterweights.

The Schuyler Heim Bridge Replacement and SR-47 Expressway Project is being advanced through a joint partnership between Caltrans and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA). The project will replace the Schuyler Heim Bridge, which does not meet current earthquake standards, with a fixed-span bridge over Cerritos Channel. It will also construct a new, four-lane elevated expressway that will allow cars and trucks to move from Terminal Island directly onto Alameda Street, bypassing three stop lights and five railroad crossings. Construction has anticipated completion date of 2016. For more information, visit the Caltrans website.

Henry Ford (Badger Avenue) Bridge

Horizontal clearance: 180 feet
Vertical clearance: 6.7 feet (bridge down); 165 feet (bridge up)

Constructed in 1924, the original Henry Ford Bridge -- also known as the Badger Avenue Bridge -- provided the only railroad link to Terminal Island from the mainland between 1934 to 1996, when the current bridge replaced it. Prior to 1934, Terminal Island (formerly known as Rattlesnake Island) was served by various railroad bridges. The Henry Ford Bridge runs parallel to the Heim Bridge and carries trains across the Cerritos Channel to Terminal Island and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Cerritos Channel Drawbridges Consolidated Requirements

The U.S. Coast Guard has consolidated the requirements for drawbridge operations, including Cerritos Channel, as contained in Code 33 of Federal Regulations, Part 117:

(a) The draw of the Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Highway Bridge, mile 4.5 at Long Beach, shall open on signal, except that from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday except federal holidays, the draws need not open for the passage of vessels.

(b) The draw of the Henry Ford Avenue Railroad Bridge shall be maintained in the open to navigation position except when a train is crossing or when maintenance work is being performed.

(c) The opening signal for the Commodore Schuyler Heim Bridge is three prolonged blasts. The acknowledging signal is two prolonged blasts followed by one short blast when the draw will open immediately, and five short blasts when the draw cannot open immediately.

(d) If the draw of the Henry Ford Avenue Railroad Bridge is in the closed position, the opening signal is two short blasts followed by one prolonged blast. The acknowledging signal is two prolonged blasts followed by one short blast when the draw will open immediately and five short blasts when the draw cannot open immediately.

(e) Radio telephones are installed to enable the drawtender at the Commodore Schuyler Heim Bridge and the Henry Ford Avenue Railroad Bridge to communicate with vessels on radio telephone frequency 156.65 MHz (Channel 13), or such other frequency as may be assigned by the Federal Communications Commission.

 
 
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