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Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014
Community News

Then & Now: Gandy Bridge, 1924 and 2014

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The original span of the Gandy Bridge is shown in the 1924 “then” photo. Formally opened on Nov. 20, 1924, the steel-and-concrete bridge spanned 2½ miles, making it the longest toll bridge in the world at that time. The span included an electrically operated draw bridge with a span of 75 feet. The bridge reduced the distance from Tampa to St. Petersburg from 43 to 19 miles.

The bridge was financed by businessman George S. Gandy Sr., who sold stock to raise the $1.9 million it cost. Tolls stopped in 1944 after the bridge was seized by the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.

In 1956, a second span was built to serve westbound traffic, with the original span serving eastbound traffic until 1975, when it was demolished and replaced by a third span. In 1996 a fourth span was built between the two existing spans. The 1956 span would become the Friendship Trail Bridge.

Greg S. Carr

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