Long Beach Celebrates Opening of Port’s Mark Bixby Pathway
Photo: Bixby family members and officials celebrate the grand opening of the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path and the Ocean Boulevard Connector at the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge on Saturday.
Pedestrians, cyclists enjoy views from Long Beach International Gateway Bridge
The new Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path and Ocean Boulevard Connector opened to the public Saturday morning, offering a unique recreational experience at the Port of Long Beach while also honoring the memory of a prominent cycling advocate.
Hundreds of cyclists and walkers joined Bixby family members and federal, state, local and Port officials who gathered at the Long Beach Civic Center Plaza for a grand opening ceremony, bicycle procession to the new paths, and a ribbon cutting and inaugural crossing for the two connected bike-walk paths at the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge.
“Today, we celebrate the opening of the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path and Ocean Boulevard Connector, a testament to our commitment to providing recreational opportunities and a healthy lifestyle for all,” said Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson. “This path not only honors the memory of Mark Bixby, a remarkable advocate for cycling and dedicated community servant, but also fulfills the community’s long-standing desire for bicycle and pedestrian access to the Port of Long Beach.”
“The community now has a safe and convenient way to access amazing views of the Port and the surrounding area while engaging in a healthy lifestyle,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman. “We take pride in being one of the nation’s most pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly cities and hope this pathway will strengthen the community’s connection to the Port.”
“Long Beach is synonymous with bicycling,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are proud to provide a space that everyone can enjoy and that showcases the Port’s infrastructure, environmental achievements and our role as a major economic engine for the community.”
At its crest, the Bixby Path reaches a height of 205 feet above the water. The pathway is equipped with three overlooks, each with informational signage and benches. The Ocean Boulevard Connector includes a viewing area with a timeline of the Port and other architectural features.
The Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path and the Ocean Boulevard Connector are accessible from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Cyclists and walkers will start from the southwest corner of Ocean Boulevard and Golden Shore and proceed west on the Ocean Boulevard Connector and then the Bixby Path. Just after the Bixby Path’s third overlook, everyone will turn around and head back over the bridge to downtown Long Beach.
The Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path is named after one of Long Beach’s leading bicycle advocates. Bixby spearheaded the grassroots effort to have a bike path included in the design of the new bridge, which opened to vehicles in October 2020. Bixby and four others were killed in an airplane crash on March 16, 2011.
The Bixby Path was constructed as part of the $1.57 billion project to build the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge, which opened in 1968, long before the local ports complex became one of the busiest in the world. The new bridge was built with funding from the Port of Long Beach, California Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The $17.5 million Ocean Boulevard Connector project was completed by the Port with $7.1 million in federal and state transportation funding.
The Port of Long Beach is a global leader in green port initiatives and top-notch customer service, moving cargo with reliability, speed and efficiency. As the premier U.S. gateway for trans-Pacific trade, the Port handles trade valued at $200 billion annually and supports 2.6 million jobs across the United States, including 575,000 in Southern California. In 2022, industry leaders named it “The Best West Coast Seaport in North America” for the fourth consecutive year. During the next 10 years, the Port is planning $2.2 billion in capital improvements aimed at enhancing capacity, competitiveness and sustainability.
Media Contact: Lee Peterson, Port of Long Beach Media Relations Manager, [email protected].