Midpoint Memorial Bridge

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Midpoint Memorial Bridge
Midpoint Bridge.jpg
Official name Midpoint Memorial Bridge
Carries CR 884
Crosses Caloosahatchee River
Locale Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida
Maintained by Lee County Department of Transportation
Design Concrete Girder Bridge
Total length 1.25 miles
Width 80 feet
Vertical clearance 55 Feet
Opened October 19, 1997
Toll $2 (Westbound traffic only)
Coordinates 26°36'2.58"N/ 81°54'2.60"W

The Midpoint Memorial Bridge (also locally known as the Midpoint Bridge) is a bridge located in Southwest Florida. It spans the Caloosahatchee River, connecting Fort Myers and Cape Coral. It is a four-lane fixed span one and one-quarter mile long. The bridge is so-named because its placement situates it roughly halfway between the Cape Coral Bridge to the south, and the Caloosahatchee Bridge to the north. It carries County Road 884, which is known as Colonial Boulevard on the Fort Myers Side, and Veterans Parkway on the Cape Coral Side.

Building a second bridge between Cape Coral and Fort Myers was first proposed in the 1970s, but construction was delayed for many years, largely due to opposition in Fort Myers. After a series of court battles, reaching the Florida Supreme Court, construction began in 1995, and the bridge opened for traffic on October 19, 1997. Earlier in 1959, the bridge's location was considered as possible location of the Cape Coral Bridge before its current location was determined.[1]

The Midpoint Memorial Bridge was constructed as part of the extension of Colonial Boulevard into Cape Coral. Before construction, Colonial Boulevard terminated at State Road 867 (McGregor Boulevard), which runs parallel to the river. In Cape Coral, CR 884 (locally known as Veterans Parkway) now terminates at SR 78 (Pine Island Road) near Matlacha, and includes an overpass over the intersection with Del Prado Boulevard (CR 867A). The addition of the Midpoint Memorial Bridge resulted in several ancillary road projects in Fort Myers as well. Colonial Boulevard was widened to six lanes and overpasses were constructed over McGregor Boulevard and at the intersection with US 41.

The bridge is owned by the Lee County Department of Transportation. There is currently a two dollar toll in effect for westbound vehicles only, and there is no toll for eastbound traffic. Florida's statewide "Sunpass" prepaid electronic toll collection system is accepted on the Midpoint Bridge, along with Lee County's "Leeway" prepaid toll system, which is also used on the Cape Coral Bridge, and the Sanibel Causeway. However, there is a variable pricing scheme in effect: Cape Coral & Midpoint bridges allow a 25% discount for Sunpass users only during the following Variable Pricing Hours:

  6:30 am – 7:00 am    9:00 am – 11:00 am
  2:00 pm – 4:00 pm    6:30 pm – 7:00 pm

The intention is to move peak-hour users to "shoulder" commuter times, rather than to reward drivers for not traveling at all near rush hours, which is why the toll will still be full rate for those crossing the bridge at, say, 9:00 pm using a Sunpass.

On the Cape Coral side of the bridge, there is a replica of the statue from the Marine Corps War Memorial in Rosslyn, Virginia (which is just outside of Washington, D.C.). The statue depicts the six U.S Marines raising the American flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

On the Fort Myers side, there is a small Vietnam War Memorial.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cape Coral History". Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce. 

Coordinates: 26°36′2.59″N 81°54′2.60″W / 26.6007194°N 81.9007222°W / 26.6007194; -81.9007222