Astor Bridge

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Astor Bridge
Astor Bridge at Astor, Florida over the St. Johns River 001.jpg
The Astor Bridge from the Blackwater Inn
Coordinates 29°10′03″N 81°31′23″W / 29.1675°N 81.5231°W / 29.1675; -81.5231Coordinates: 29°10′03″N 81°31′23″W / 29.1675°N 81.5231°W / 29.1675; -81.5231
Carries SR 40
(two general purpose lanes)
Crosses St. Johns River
Locale Astor, Florida
Official name Astor Bridge
Maintained by Florida Department of Transportation
ID number 110077
Characteristics
Design Single-leaf bascule bridge
Total length 515 feet (157 m)
Clearance below 20 feet (6.1 m)
History
Opened October 1980

The Astor Bridge is a single-leaf bascule bridge located in Astor, Florida that carries State Road 40 over the St. Johns River. The first bridge on the site was built in 1926; the current bridge dates from 1980.

History[edit]

The original bridge in 1957

The original Astor Bridge, a wooden structure, was constructed across the St. Johns River in 1926;[1] it replaced a ferry that crossed the river at Astor.[2] A steel swing section was later constructed, replacing the original wooden structure.[3]

The current Astor Bridge was built in 1980,[3] after the previous bridge was deemed dangerous and restricted to vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg).[4] Residents favored a high-level bridge further south, but a drawbridge located adjacent to the existing bridge was considered the best option from cost and environmental standpoints.[5]

The new bridge was constructed by the Houdallie-Duval-Wright Co. of Jacksonville, which had bid $4,060,575 for the project.[6] It opened in October 1980.[7] Following its construction, the previous bridge's bridgetender's house was moved to the Blackwater Inn adjacent to the bridge, then to the Pioneer Settlement for Creative Arts in Barberville for preservation and display.[8]

After the construction of the current bridge a naming dispute arose between the towns of Astor and Volusia,[9] which was not resolved until 1989 when the bridge was officially named the Astor Bridge.[10]

The bridge's decking was replaced in the early 1990s, and then again in a $788,000 project during 2012.[11]

There are five bridge tenders who operate the bridge to allow river traffic to pass.[11] It carries approximately 7,000 vehicles per day.[12]

Accidents[edit]

During the 1970s the bridge was considered by the Florida Department of Transportation to be "one of the most hazardous road sections in Florida".[13]

The Astor Bridge was struck by a barge on March 23, 1995.[14]

A safety net was tested on the bridge in 1995, to catch any vehicles that overran the bridge when it was open;[15] the test was successfully completed.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Two Volusia-Lake County Bridges Scheduled to Be Free of Charge". Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, FL). May 29, 1926. p. 12A. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  2. ^ Powers, Ormund (May 14, 1997). "Steamboat Community Sinks Name of Manhattan to Become Astor". Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, FL). Lake Sentinel. p. 3. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  3. ^ a b Whitney, Valerie (August 8, 2012). "State Road 40 traffic back to normal at Astor bridge". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  4. ^ Williamson, Ronald (July 30, 1976). "Astor Bridge Too Rickety For Heavy Trucks, State Says". Daytona Beach Morning Journal (Daytona Beach, FL). p. 3B. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  5. ^ Lindley, Donald (February 23, 1977). "DOT Moving On New Astor Bridge Work". Daytona Beach Morning Journal (Daytona Beach, FL). p. 3B. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  6. ^ O'Hara, Tom (December 21, 1977). "Jacksonville Firm Low Bidder On Astor Bridge". Daytona Beach Morning Journal (Daytona Beach, FL). p. 2B. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  7. ^ Goodman, Kenneth (November 20, 1980). "New Bridge Raises Bad Feelings". Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal (Daytona Beach, FL). p. 1C. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  8. ^ Monahan, Pat (September 11, 1980). "Old Astor Bridgehouse Finds Barberville Home At Last". Daytona Beach Morning Journal (Daytona Beach, FL). p. 1B. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  9. ^ "The No Name Bridge In Astor". Four Towns Journal (Daytona Beach, FL). August 8, 1981. p. 8. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  10. ^ "Bridge Gets Name, Ending 12-Year Debate". The Miami Herald (Miami, FL). July 27, 1989. p. 2B. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  11. ^ a b "Astor bridge reopened". Daily Commercial. Leesburg, FL. August 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  12. ^ Harper, Mark (April 24, 2012). "Renovation of historic Astor bridge begins Monday". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  13. ^ Lindley, Donald (July 16, 1975). "Astor Bridge Job Off Until 1978". Daytona Beach Morning Journal (Daytona Beach, FL). p. 1B. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  14. ^ "Barge Hits Astor Bridge Near Volusia, Lake Line". Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, FL). March 24, 1995. p. D3. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  15. ^ Anderson, Mickie (July 12, 1995). "Fearless Driver To Test Astor's Steel Safety Net". Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, FL). Lake Sentinel. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  16. ^ Anderson, Mickie (July 13, 1995). "Metal Net Succeeds As Safety Device Stops A Jeep In Its Tracks In About 30 Feet At The End Of The Astor Drawbridge". Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, FL). Lake Sentinel. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 

External links[edit]