Fort Myers' Famous Bridges

DEKit Fort Myers is surrounded by awesome tourist attractions and places our customers can take their boats and enjoy their DEKit custom boat flooring.

Whether you are local or traveling to the Fort Myers area, we felt you should know about top places to visit in Fort Myers.

For locals with boats decked out in DEKit foam flooring, our floors can take on any boating adventure!  DEKit flooring is made to stand up to great fishing, as well as offer the comfort for leisure boating and sightseeing.

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 the Florida mainland (via San Carlos Island) and Estero Island, which is a major tourist destination. The bridge is one of the island's two connections to the mainland. The other is the Bonita Beach Causeway on the south end of the island.

The original Matanzas Pass Bridge was a small wooden drawbridge built in 1921. The roadway connecting to the bridge originally ran from the bridge along the coast to present-day Bunche Beach where it connected to John Morris Road, which goes on to McGregor Boulevard.

The current Matanzas Pass Bridge opened in 1979, and is 65 feet (20 m) tall. It was the tallest bridge in Lee County when it was built, but it was surpassed in 2007 by the first bridge of the Sanibel Causeway, which is 70 feet (21 m) tall. The current bridge 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. Fishing piers also exist underneath the bridge on each side. The bridge's current blue color was added in 2011, making it resemble the Jewfish Creek Bridge in Key Largo.

The Edison Bridge

The original Edison Bridge opened for traffic on February 11, 1931, the 84th birthday of its namesake Thomas Edison. Edison, who had a winter home in Fort Myers, dedicated the bridge, and was also the first to drive across it.

The original Edison Bridge was built to carry the Tamiami Trail, which had previously crossed the river on a narrow wooden bridge upstream that opened on March 12, 1924. This bridge was located in East Fort Myers at Freemont Street and connected to what is today known as Old Bridge Road in North Fort Myers. Construction of the bridge at Freemont Street was initially started by a private company with the intention of making it a toll bridge. Lee County planned to use the Freemont Street bridge for its portion of the planned Tamiami Trail, but the federal government would not designate it as part of a U.S. Highway if the bridge had a toll. So, the county purchased the bridge and completed its construction.

The Freemont Street bridge was only intended to be a temporary crossing of the Caloosahatchee River for the Tamiami Trail. It was too far east of downtown Fort Myers and was too narrow, making passing difficult. A couple of locations were determined as potential sites for a permanent bridge, including Carson Street west of downtown (which would later become the location of the Caloosahatchee Bridge). But it was ultimately decided that a new bridge, which would become the Edison Bridge, would connect Fowler Street (east of downtown) with a rerouted portion of the Tamiami Trail (US 41) on the north side. After the Edison Bridge opened, the bridge at Freemont Street remained in service as a secondary bridge until 1940, when the wooden structure was destroyed by a fire.

Midpoint Memorial Bridge

The Midpoint Memorial Bridge was constructed as part of the extension of Colonial Boulevard into Cape Coral. Before construction, Colonial Boulevard terminated at State Road 867 (McGregor Boulevard), which runs parallel to the river. In Cape Coral, CR 884 (locally known as Veterans Parkway) now terminates at SR 78 (Pine Island Road) near Matlacha, and includes an overpass over the intersection with Del Prado Boulevard (CR 867A). The addition of the Midpoint Memorial Bridge resulted in several ancillary road projects in Fort Myers as well. Colonial Boulevard was widened to six lanes and overpasses were constructed over McGregor Boulevard and at the intersection with US 41.

The bridge is owned by the Lee County Department of Transportation. There is a two-dollar toll in effect for westbound vehicles only and no toll for eastbound traffic. Florida’s statewide SunPass prepaid electronic toll collection system is accepted on the Midpoint Bridge, along with Lee County’s Leeway prepaid toll system which is also used on the Cape Coral Bridge and the Sanibel Causeway.

On the Cape Coral side of the bridge, there is a replica of the statue from the Marine Corps War Memorial in Rosslyn, Virginia (which is just outside Washington, D.C.). The statue depicts the six U.S Marines raising the American flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima. On the Fort Myers side, there is a small Vietnam War Memorial.

Fish Blood Cleans Easy form DEKit Boat Flooring

There are many bridges throughout the Fort Myers area that you can enjoy with a leisurely family boat ride or fishing adventure.

Especially for fishing, bridges offer pockets where pools of fish hang out. Speak with your local fish tackle provider for bait and tackle advice. And if you happen to make a mess of fish blood and scales on your DEKit boat foam flooring, no worries. We have an article on how to properly clean boat foam flooring to keep it in great shape and lasting a long time.

March 26, 2022 — John TenBrink