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Gandy Bridge

The Gandy Bridge, the first to cross Tampa Bay, was a dream of former Philadelphia industrialist George S. "Dad" Gandy 10 years before it was a reality. After two years of construction, Dad Gandy made the dedication speech on November 20, 1924 with a four-word one liner, "The bridge is built!" It cost $3 million to build at that time and was one of the longest bridges in the world. The 2-1/2 mile concrete bridge with 3-1/2 miles of causeways cut the driving distance between St. Petersburg and Tampa from 43 miles to 19 miles.

Two additional bridges were added parallel to the first, one in 1956 and a second in 1975. In 1975 the original Gandy Bridge was demolished. In 1997 another span was added, and despite attempts to raze the 1956 bridge, it was retained as a pedestrian and bicycle throughway and named the "Friendship Trail."

In 2008, a state inspection of the Friendship Trail bridge revealed decaying pylons and the span was closed.

*Information & Photos courtesy of Florida Department of Transportation