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Casey Key Swing Bridge: Experience History In Action !

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There are eighty-three swing bridges that remain in use in the United States, of which nine are in the State of Florida. You have the opportunity to drive over a piece of history that is in daily use, the one lane swing bridge that is over the Intracoastal Waterway is on County Route 789 (Blackburn Point Road) in South Sarasota.

The bridge was built in 1925 to connect the barrier island, Casey Key, to the mainland at the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. It bears the reference number 01000290 on the National Register of Historic Places. The 142 foot long bridge was rehabilitated 1995, but is now classified as "Functionally obsolete". A parking lot and boat ramp is located on the northwest side of the bridge.

A swing bridge is a moveable bridge that has a single support in the center of the chasm that it is intended to span. The entire roadway rotates around an axis on the support and requires no landside structures or counter weights. Boats whose masts are taller than eight feet signal the bridgetender who stops the auto traffic and rotates the bridge, allowing the boat to pass. The rotating mechanism even includes a giant hand crank for use when the electricity fails.

Casey Key is an eight mile long tropical island (key) that has no high rises, no traffic lights and it consists almost entirely of upscale single family homes. The landscape is native sub-tropical, including palm trees, sea grape, etc. Grass lawns are nowhere in evidence! It does have a lovely beach, however, where you can build sandcastles while watching the boats go by. The beach is protected by wild sea oats and mangroves that attract native birds. There is a parking lot, lifeguards, restrooms and showers.

View the bridge:

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