Matlacha Bridge

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Matlacha Bridge
Aerial view of old Matlacha Bridge in 2008.jpg
Aerial view of the 1968–2012 bridge
Coordinates 26°37'57.55"N/82°04'04.68"W
Carries CR 78
Crosses Matlacha Pass
Locale Matlacha, Florida
Official name Malacha Bridge
Maintained by Lee County Department of Transportation
Design Bascule bridge
Clearance above 9 Feet (with drawbridge lowered)
Opened 1927 (original wooden bridge)
1968 (previous bridge)
2012 (current bridge)
Toll None

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.[1]

The first bridge was replaced with a concrete bascule bridge in 1968.[2] The bridge became a very popular fishing spot for local residents, and was nicknamed "The fishingest bridge in the world".[2] The current bascule bridge opened on November 18, 2012.[3][4] The current span is 9 feet tall, similar to its predecessor.[5]

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.[6]


  1. ^ "Harry Stringfellow". Pine Island Info: Preserving Pine Island's Past. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "5 things about Matlacha bridges". Fort Myers News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. October 15, 2016. Retrieved 2017-04-23. 
  3. ^ "Matlacha Bridge Opens". Fort Myers News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. November 19, 2012. p. B1. 
  4. ^ "New Matlacha bridge opens". WBBH-TV. November 18, 2012. Retrieved 2017-04-23. 
  5. ^ "Matlacha Bridge opens". Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  6. ^ Rupolo, John (November 20, 2012). "Matlacha Bridge on its way to becoming a reef". WFTX-TV. Retrieved 2017-04-23. 

Coordinates: 26°37′57.55″N 82°04′04.68″W / 26.6326528°N 82.0679667°W / 26.6326528; -82.0679667