Edison Bridge

The Edison Bridge is a bridge located in Fort Myers, Florida. The bridge is named after inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who was once a local Fort Myers resident, along with Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company. Both bridges are 55 feet tall.

The Edison Bridge consists of two separate three lane bridges, with one span carrying northbound traffic, and the other carrying southbound traffic. It carries U.S. 41 Business Route (with the hidden designation of State Road 739) over the Caloosahatchee River, connecting downtown Fort Myers (on the southern shore) with North Fort Myers. Despite carrying the same route, the two bridges are not parallel to each other. The two spans land at the same point on the north side of the river, but are separated by a few blocks on the south side. When looking on a map, the two spans and the south bank of the river form a right triangle. This is because Business Route U.S. 41 and S.R. 739 are carried on two separate one way streets in Downtown Fort Myers, with northbound traffic using Park Avenue, and southbound traffic traveling on Fowler Street.

The current northbound and southbound spans opened in 1992 and 1993 respectively. They replaced a small two lane drawbridge which opened on February 11, 1931. Inventor Thomas Edison, the bridge's namesake, dedicated the bridge, which opened on his 84th birthday. He was also in the first car that drove across the bridge after the ribbon-cutting. The drawbridge was located at the site of the current southbound bridge.

The drawbridge carried U.S. 41 (part of the Tamiami Trail) from its opening in 1931 up until 1962, when the Caloosahatchee Bridge opened just downstream. The route over the Edison Bridge was then designated as the Business route of U.S. 41. Prior to the opening of the drawbridge in 1931, the Tamiami Trail, which was completed in 1928, crossed the river on a small wooden bridge a short distance upstream. This bridge was built in 1924, and connected the present day Freemont Street (on the south side) and Old Bridge Road (on the north side). The wooden bridge burned down in the early 1940s and was never rebuilt.


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