“A picture of the Acosta Bridge built in the 20’s and was the only bridge across the St Johns till 1941 when the Main Street bridge was finished. Now this bridge is just history.” LS
The old Acosta Bridge shown in this undated photograph from the Loyd Sandgren collection. Originally named the Jacksonville St. Johns River Bridge, it was the first bridge for vehicle and pedestrian traffic to span Jacksonville on the North side of the St. Johns River with South Jacksonville. Prior to the three lane steel beam bridge opening in 1921 the only way to get to the South side of the river was by train on the railroad bridge or a ferry from downtown to the South bank of the river. For almost 20 years the bridge operated as a toll bridge and brought in over $4,100,000. in tolls. The bridge cost $1,200,000. to build.
In 1940, shortly before the Main Street bridge was constructed the tolls were lifted. In 1949 the bridge was renamed the St. Elmo W. Acosta bridge in honor of the city commissioner who pushed for the original construction of the bridge over the protests of the railroad and ferry operators. In 1991 the old Acosta bridge was demolished and the new 6 lane concrete span Acosta bridge was built.