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This week in history: New Lake Worth bridge opens

The four-lane concrete bridge that currently spans the Intracoastal Waterway at Lake Avenue opened on July 10, 1973. A portion of the 1937 bridge it replaced remained beside the new bridge until 2011, when it was dismantled and pieces of it were sunk to create an artificial reef as part of the Snook Islands Natural Area just north of its original location.

Click on the image below to view a video of the 2011 demolition of the old Lake Worth bridge.

Visit our Palm Beach Then and Now photo gallery to see an aerial view of the bridge in 1938 and in 2009.

Photos below are from 1972, during the construction of the Lake Worth bridge. The bridge is known officially as the Robert A. Harris Memorial Bridge, named for a retired Air Force officer who was director of the Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce from 1961 until his death in 1969. The bridge that still stands was the third to be built there. The first was a wooden bridge built in 1918 to replace a rowboat that transported people across the Intracoastal Waterway. Dedicated on July 4, 1919, it was the longest toll-free bridge on the East Coast at the time. In 1937, a concrete bridge was built to replace the original one, which was damaged in a storm. (1972 Palm Beach Post staff file photos)

This August 1938 photo was taken from the east end of the then-new Lake Worth Bridge. That’s the 1925 GulfStream Hotel in the background, on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway. (Palm Beach Post file photo)

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Posted in Flashback blog and Our history in photos July 9, 2012 at 8:11 am.

1 comment

One Reply

  1. J. Ryals Dempsey Jul 10th 2012

    I remember doing a lot of fishing off that old bridge in the ’60s. Mainly that’s where I got my ‘Catfish King’ moniker. Sometimes I’d even hit the Lake Worth Trifecta: Puffer Fish, Stingray, and Sail Cat! (LOL). Lost of cut lines and lots of lots tackle!

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