Aerial view of the 1968–2012 bridge
|Official name||Malacha Bridge|
|Maintained by||Lee County Department of Transportation|
|Clearance above||9 Feet (with drawbridge lowered)|
|Opened||1927 (original wooden bridge)
1968 (previous bridge)
2012 (current bridge)
The Matlacha Bridge (pronounced "Mat-La-Shay") is a small single-leaf drawbridge located in Matlacha, Florida. It carries County Road 78 (Pine Island Road) over Matlacha Pass, connecting Pine Island with the mainland in Cape Coral.
The first bridge spanning Matlacha Pass was a small wooden swing bridge. The first bridge was built largely in part to the influence of Pine Island resident Harry Stingfellow, who served as a county commissioner from 1926 to 1953.
The first bridge was replaced with a concrete bascule bridge in 1968. The bridge became a very popular fishing spot for local residents, and was nicknamed "The fishingest bridge in the world". The current bascule bridge opened on November 18, 2012. The current span is 9 feet tall, similar to its predecessor.
After its demolition, the previous bridge (the one built in 1968) was made into an artificial reef at Novak's reef, which is about 3 miles off the coast of Charlotte County.
- "Harry Stringfellow". Pine Island Info: Preserving Pine Island's Past. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "5 things about Matlacha bridges". Fort Myers News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. October 15, 2016. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
- "Matlacha Bridge Opens". Fort Myers News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. November 19, 2012. p. B1.
- "New Matlacha bridge opens". WBBH-TV. November 18, 2012. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
- "Matlacha Bridge opens". Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Rupolo, John (November 20, 2012). "Matlacha Bridge on its way to becoming a reef". WFTX-TV. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
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