Beez Neez (on the right in front of the blue motorboat) seen in the marina
from the Bridge of Lions
We got up assuming today would be a very slack day. After
a leisurely breakfast, a long shower, but as the water beat down on my bonce I
thought it was far too beautiful a day to be inside and decided a slow stroll to
the lighthouse was a plan. I heard someone in the next stall to me and out of
the shower popped Maggie, I announced my plan, another lady told us “about a
mile and a half”, plan formed, outside the boys nodded and Trooper was all for
it. Cameras and juice packed, along the road and over the
The Bridge of Lions is a
bridge that spans the ICW,
a part of State
Road A1A it connects
downtown St. Augustine to Anastasia Island. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic
Places and was included by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP)
on its list of the "11 Most Endangered Historic Sites" in the nation for 1997.
The Bridge of Lions was later featured on the cover of the Trust's 1999
engagement calendar. From its earliest days, it was hailed as "The Most
Beautiful Bridge in Dixie." It has long been a symbol of the nation's oldest
city. Roads &
Bridges magazine named the Bridge of Lions as
fourth in the nation’s top ten bridges for 2010. Projects were evaluated based
on size, community impact and challenges resolved.
First Bridge: Prior to the Bridge of Lions in 1925, there was a wooden bridge, called
simply, "The Bridge to Anastasia Island" or "South Beach Railroad Bridge". It
was built in 1895, and after a major renovation in 1904, the bridge could
accommodate a trolley. The span contained no rise, had a movable opening for
shipping and charged a toll for transit.
Original Bridge of Lions: The old bridge frequently broke down, leading to calls for its
replacement over the years. The man considered the "Father of the Bridge of
Lions" was Henry Rodenbaugh, the vice president and bridge expert for Henry
Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway. In the early 1920’s he organised the bond
issue to finance the new
bridge, selected engineer J. E. Greiner to design it and had his
young daughter Jean pour the first bucket of concrete when work began in 1925.
Construction came at the height of the extravagant Florida Land Boom of the
1920’s. Designed not just to carry cars, but to be a work of art, cost ten times
as much as more prosaic bridges constructed nearby around the same time. It was
completed after the land boom busted, and the 1927 dedication ceremony had to be
paired with the annual Ponce de Leon Celebration in cash-strapped St. Augustine.
The Department of Transportation declared the bridge "structurally deficient and
functionally obsolete" in 1999, prompting heated debates on what to do with the
structure. A restoration plan was approved, but opponents continued to voice
their opposition. Reynolds, Smith &
Hills from nearby Jacksonville were awarded the
engineering and design contract, estimated at $77 million and projected to take
five years to complete.
Bridge: A "temporary" bridge was constructed
adjacent to the original bridge and traffic was diverted while the original
bridge was being reconstructed to look like its predecessor. An official closing
ceremony for the original Bridge of Lions was held on the 26th of May, 2006.
Isabella Heard, one of the young girls on the lead float in the opening of the
bridge in 1927, was there to tie the ribbon for its closing seventy nine years
later. Several components of the original bridge were either being rehabilitated
or returned, the exterior or fascia steel girders were renovated along with the
bascule tower piers. The project cost $80 million (four percent over budget).
The two lion statues were in safe storage during the
New Bridge of Lions:
Renovation work was completed on 17th
of March 2010 when it reopened for use. Following the removal of the temporary
bridge (to an offshore reef), and landscaping, the restored Lion statues were
returned (after a six year absence) on the 15th of March 2011.
Carrara marble Medici
lions are copies of those found in the
Lanzi in Florence, Italy. The statues were a
gift of Dr. Andrew
Anderson (1839–1924), who spent the
last decade of his life putting works of art in public places in the Ancient
City. Made in the Romanelli Studios in Florence, the statues were his last gift,
sadly he didn’t live to see them installed.
the road a few things caught our eye, Big Nasty
clearly needs to shave her armpits. Not certain about Breakfast, Lunch and Acupuncture and our first real look at
My first gun shot wounds in the second window. The need to
find out why this sweet little restaurant is on the market .........I didn’t
buy massive palm trees in this garden centre just as
we left the main road
the lady of the house was fed up with tourists asking for directions, but we had the chance to admire her old lawnmower
wondered if this was a ‘One Careful Owner in the making but Maggie said it was a
“Couldya”. Could you love it enough to live in
definite candidate for ‘OCO’. Quite a house adornment. Trooper seeing
off a squirrel. A woodpecker. Bear under an amazing
tree and his trigger finger ever at the ready
ALL IN ALL AN INTERESTING LITTLE