The Artesia Bridge has been a staple in the Compton and Long Beach community. It provides a vital connection for commuters traveling between the 91 freeway to the port of Long Beach and neighboring cities. The bridge helps provide businesses with consistent traffic, which keeps them open and helps recycle dollars back into the city.
Unfortunately, it caught fire and sustained heavy damage, which caused it to close down as it was seen as unsafe. This happened in 2020, and many residents are questioning why the bridge hasn’t been repaired yet, as it is such a vital part of travel and provides business with customers.
Last week, Compton Mayor Emma Sharif, along with state representatives, city officials, and business owners, gathered at the bridge and held a protest asking for the state to repair and reopen the structure.
“We need to bring more attention to this bridge because it is a vital part of the community. This bridge is closed off and is causing a problem for everybody, as there are only four main roads that take you into Compton with the bridge closed. It’s causing severe traffic, frequent accidents, and unorganized detour routes,” Sharif said.
“The town center is impacted the worst, as businesses are losing 150,000 to 400,000 dollars a day in revenue, and those numbers hurt the city,” she added. “Many of the stores in the town center like El Pollo Loco, Bank of America, Target, Home Depot, the casino, McDonald’s, and other small businesses in the area are struggling to stay open. If this bridge isn’t fixed they may have to close down, which it be a major loss for the city.”
The mayor talked about what is delaying the reconstruction of the bridge and how much money it will take to repair it.
“The one thing delaying the reconstruction of the bridge is the lack of funding. A temporary fix of the bridge is going to cost about five million dollars, but the temporary bridge is only going to last for a limited time until it needs repairs again. For us to have the bridge fully replaced we are going to need 30 million dollars,” she said.
“The next step is to continue staying in contact with elected officials like Holly Mitchell, Senator Mel Gibson, and Senator Steve Bradford, to help us with assistance on the bridge and to provide us with funding. We also need community residents to start making calls to the Senator’s office and our elected official’s office,” Sharif said.