Oldest Swing Bridge in Florida....

Posted by John Sabia on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 at 1:58pm.

photo of oldest operating swing bridge in FloridaSnow-Reed Swing Bridge in Southwest Fort Lauderdale

While touring a waterfront home for sale in Fort Lauderdale situated along the Nu River in the Sailboat Bend neighborhood, my eye caught a bit of history.  From the dock I could see hovering above the Nu River, the Snow-Reed Fort Lauderdale swing bridge spanning nearly 150 feet connecting the two Southwest Fort Lauderdale deep waterfront neighborhoods of Sailboat Bend and Riverside Park.  

The SW 11th Ave (Palm Ave) bridge as it is known today, is the oldest operating metal truss swing bridge in the state of Florida.  Originally built in 1924-1925 replacing the single lane hand-cranked version built in 1916.  The bridge tender would actually have to manually crank and turn the bridge to accomodate boat traffic!  At the time of construction, the Seminole Indians were still hunting along the banks of the Nu River.

The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society has designated the bridge as historic property #19.  The bridge was named after the two Fort Lauderdale mayors at the time, Mayor R G Snow (1924) and Mayor Will J Reed (1925).


John Sabia

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