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History of Jacksonville's Mathews Bridge

10:40 PM, Sep 26, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Mathews Bridge was hit by a vessel on Thursday afternoon. The Florida Department of Transportation said the ship that hit the bridge caused major damage. No injuries were reported from the ship hitting the bridge. Here's a look at the history of the bridge:

The Mathews Bridge opened to traffic 60 years ago, April 15, 1953.

The 7,800 foot bridge cost more than $11 million to build.
    
Local historians say it marked the end of "old Arlington" and connected the area to downtown.

The Mathews was originally *silver* in color and also a toll bridge until the late 1980's when the Florida Department of Transportation took over the maintenance costs.

Two recent major renovations to the bridge cost more than the bridge itself.
    
Just a few years ago, the state spent nearly $16 million to replace the center deck of the Mathews Bridge because of safety concerns.
    
And right now, the bridge is being repainted and repaired. That $23 million project began in September 2011 and was expected to be completed by the end of the year.
    
No word on how today's accident will affect that time frame.

First Coast News

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