St. George Bridge Opens

After three years motorists can now ride across the longest bridge in north Florida. The new St. George Island Bridge opened Monday.

It's beautiful, it's smooth and it's the buzz in Franklin County. After years anxiously waiting, the new state-of-the-art bridge is making many folks happy along the forgotten coast.

It's out with the old, in with the new. Motorists can now enjoy a smoother safer ride to and from one of Florida's hottest destinations, St. George Island.

“It's more convenient, a lot of people are scared of old bridge,” says Wayne Aiken.

Locals say the old bridge was built back in 1965. Since then it’s seen its share of wear and tear.

“A couple times when we left the island during hurricane it would wash out approach and we'd be stuck on the mainland,” says St. George Island resident Veronica Armistead.

Veronica Armistead has weathered many storms near these waters. She and her family run the local motel and have been for years. Since then, Veronica has seen the construction of two bridges; the newest one opened Monday with 12-foot lanes, safety shoulders, and a 72-foot rise. Architects hope this bridge will live another 75 years.

A formal dedication for the new bridge is set for February 27 at 11 a.m. Franklin County. Representatives will be present and they will perform a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Monday’s opening of the bridge is actually five days off-schedule due to rainy weather last Thursday.

The final price tag is a whopping $74 million.