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US Route 92 over the Gandy Bridge

The fourth and final major water crossing I drove in the Tampa Bay on my recent trip was US Route 92 over the Gandy Bridge.


The Gandy Bridge is a crossing of Old Tampa Bay carrying US Route 92 from St. Petersburg east to Tampa.  While the name "Gandy Bridge" has always been used by structures at said crossing the current roadway used by US 92 consists of the third and fourth bridge spans.

The first Gandy Bridge was promoted by George S. Gandy Sr. in 1922 as a tolled crossing of Old Tampa Bay.  Financing the original Gandy Bridge proved successful given it would shorten travel distance from St. Petersburg to Tampa from 43 miles down to only 19 miles.  The original Gandy Bridge began construction in 1922 and opened in April of 1924.  The original Gandy Bridge featured a 75 foot long bascule draw span, tolls were $0.75 cents with an additional $0.10 cents for each passenger.  When the original Gandy Bridge opened it was the longest toll bridge in the world spanning two and half miles over Old Tampa Bay.

Unlike the Davis Causeway the owners of the Gandy Bridge (The Gandy Company) fought appropriation attempts during World War II.   The Gandy Bridge was ultimately seized by the Federal Government in 1944 and turned over to the Florida State Road Department.  The Gandy Company was ultimately awarded about 2.5 million dollars in Federal Court which was considerably higher than the purchase price of the Davis Causeway.  I'm uncertain what highway number was assigned to the Gandy Bridge during the Florida State Road renumbering in 1945.  US 92 was ultimately shifted west from Tampa to St. Petersburg in 1953.

The second Gandy Bridge opened in 1956 as a fixed span.  The 1956 span was used for westbound US 92 traffic while the 1924 bridge was used for eastbound traffic.  The 1975 Gandy Bridge was built to move eastbound US 92 traffic off the 1924 span.  Upon completion of the 1975 Gandy Bridge the original 1924 structure was demolished.  The fourth Gandy Bridge was completed in 1996 and initially carried eastbound US 92 traffic while the 1975 span briefly closed for updates.  While the 1975 span was being updated the 1956 span maintained westbound US 92traffic.  The fourth Gandy Bridge became the westbound lanes of US 92 in 1997 which led to the closure of the 1956 span.  The 1956 structure was intended to remain open as a trail but it only did so for a couple years before deemed structurally deficient and was demolished.

My approach to the Gandy Bridge started eastbound from I-275 on FL 694/Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg of Pinellas County.  At 4th Street Gandy Boulevard picks up US 92 eastbound approaching the Gandy Bridge.


FL 618/Selmon Expressway is signed 8 miles to the east on US 92 over the Gandy Bridge while downtown Tampa is signed as 13 miles away.


Gandy Boulevard/US 92 crosses through a couple St. Petersburg neighborhoods lapping the expressway before entering the waters of Old Tampa Bay where the Gandy Bridge begins.









US 92 enters Hillsborough County in the center of the Gandy Bridge.




As the US 92 enters Tampa on the Gandy Bridge there is a very apparent construction area.








The construction area along US 92 on Gandy Boulevard east to Dale Mabry Highway is a viaduct extension of the Selmon Expressway/FL 618.  The viaduct structure is slated to be a two-lane connector to the eastern end of the Gandy Bridge that is slated to open in late 2020 or early 2021.











The Selmon Expressway Viaduct was causing some substantial rush hour backups that gave me time to read business marques.  Amusing the soup of the day at Hooters was something a little different...


US 92 continues east on Gandy Boulevard before crossing a set of rails where it meets the on ramp for the Selmon Expressway.





US 92 has an east on-ramp connection with the Selmon Expressway just before it turns northward on Dale Mabry Highway.  Dale Mabry Highway south Gandy Boulevard is signed as part of FL 573 to MacDill Air Force Base.







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