Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Who built our vacation spot

Entrepreneurs and engineers worked together to build an accessible island in this comfortable corner of the Gulf of Mexico that is called Clearwater Beach.

The only concrete section of the first wooden bridge is all that stands today after being torn down in the 1924. Our boat tour guide tells us that a barge served as the gateway to decide whether foot travel across the barge or boat travel while the barge temporarily moved away from the bridge. Today a few birds roost there.

That bridge was obsoleted by the "Million Dollar Bridge" that had mechanical equipment that would lift the bridge to allow boats to pass. When Jackie's family traveled to Clearwater in 1983, they traveled across the $1M bridge. After being torn down in 2002, the remainder of that bridge is being used as a fisherman's pier.

The fixed span bridge that we crossed to reach our vacation spot obseleted the $1M bridge and was budgeted at $30M but ended up costing $90M and using a whole lot of concrete to provide automobile traffic flow and boat passing to occur 100% of the time with more lanes of traffic, but still jammed at both ends with idling cars.

There were two other fixed span bridges and another that had yet to be torn down.

Throughout the tour, there were many landmarks that were remnants of the work of the Army Corp of Engineers as the made the intracoastal waterway in the shallow waters of the Gulf in the 1940's.

The result is a nice place to rest, enjoy sunshine and eat good seafood.

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