The bridge is actually in two sections, separated near the middle by Mayo Island. The total length is 1,374 feet (north and south sections combined). The current structure was built in 1913 and accommodated heavy streetcar traffic. It is Richmond's oldest highway bridge across the James River.
It was built on the site of the city's first bridge completed in 1788 by John Mayo Jr., the grandson of the man who first laid out Richmond's grid pattern.
Rising just 30 feet above the water line, the Mayo Bridge is currently Richmond's only bridge subject to flooding. Large floodgates in Richmond's Flood wall protect the surrounding areas on each side during James River Flooding. Due to the closeness to the river surface, the sidewalks on either side of the Mayo Bridge have become popular fishing locations.