Matanzas Pass Bridge
The Matanzas Pass Bridge (also locally known as the Sky Bridge, or the Fort Myers Beach Bridge) is a bridge located in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. It carries State Road 865 (San Carlos Boulevard) between San Carlos Island and Estero Island, by spanning the Matanzas Pass, which separates the two islands. Another small bridge just to the north carries San Carlos Boulevard from San Carlos Island to the mainland. The current bridge opened in 1979, and is 65 feet (20 m) tall, making it the second-tallest bridge in Lee County. The tallest bridge in the county is the first bridge of the Sanibel Causeway, which is 70 feet (21 m) tall. The original bridge was a small wooden swing bridge that was built in 1921, and was connected to Fort Myers by a small road that extended from Bunche Beach (part of this route is present-day John Morris Road). The original bridge was destroyed by a hurricane in 1926. A new concrete swing bridge was installed to replace the first bridge. This bridge was brought in from a location on the east coast of Florida. This same hurricane also created the appropriately named "Hurricane Pass", thus creating San Carlos Island. Hurricane Pass separates San Carlos Island from the mainland, and a small bridge was constructed over the new pass. The current route, known today as San Carlos Boulevard was constructed in 1927. Up until 1950, the swing bridge had been operated manually by the bridge tender. With the increase of the shrimping business in the area, the bridge was modified to be opened by an electric motor. Even with the new electric motor, the bridge was still old and had many problems. In the early 1960s, island residents feared that the bridge would fail and strand the island residents in the event of an emergency such as a hurricane. This was the main justification for the construction of the Bonita Beach Causeway, which is the island's southern exit to Bonita Springs. The swing bridge was replaced by the current bridge in 1979. . The Matanzas Pass Bridge carries San Carlos Boulevard ( State Road 865). It has two traffic lanes, one for northbound traffic and one for southbound traffic. There is also a pedestrian lane, which is separated from the rest of the bridge by a concrete barrier.


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