BREVARD HISTORY: Original Cocoa To Merritt Island Bridge Constructed In May 1917

By  //  June 24, 2017

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This
The Original Bridge Between Merritt Island and Cocoa was eventually replaced by Hubert H. Humphrey Bridge

The Original Bridge Between Merritt Island and Cocoa was eventually replaced by Hubert H. Humphrey Bridge, also known as the State Road 520 Causeway.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Each day on the Space Coast, thousands of daily commuters make the trek between Cocoa and Merritt Island on State Road 520 via the Hubert Humphrey Bridge.

The high-arching Hubert Humphrey Bridge offers beautiful panoramic views of the Indian River Lagoon and the respective towns.

Prior to the Hubert Humphrey Bridge’s construction, commuters used a concrete bridge that was much shorter. Today, remnants of the original bridge are used as fishing piers.

The bridge between Merritt Island and Cocoa was constructed  on May 1, 1917, and plans began for an additional bridge to connect Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach.

VICE PRESIDENT HUMPHREY INITIATES ACTION FOR NEW BRIDGE

Due to increased traffic from NASA workers in the 1960s, traffic problems were growing worse on State Road 520. Then Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey spoke to NASA and the U.S. Air Force, and they agreed to help fund the widening of the road.

On August 16, 1962, the road widening was completed. Less than six years later the Hubert H. Humphrey Bridge was dedicated by Humphrey on March 1, 1968.

This plaque marks the former entry to the original bridge that connected Cocoa Beach with Merritt Island

This plaque marks the former entry to the original bridge that connected Cocoa Beach with Merritt Island

In the map below, you will see the route of the original causeway, highlighted in red.

A bridge known as Humpback Bridge once connected Merritt Avenue to Banana River Drive (Audubon Road) before the Sykes Creek Bridge and Merritt Square Mall were built.

After driving across the Humpback Bridge, drivers followed a route to Banana River Drive, then drove south for several miles to a section of Merritt Island known as “Angel City.”

VIDEO SPECIAL: Top 10 ‘Most Haunted’ Places In Brevard CountyRelated Story:
VIDEO SPECIAL: Top 10 ‘Most Haunted’ Places In Brevard County

Angel City marked the western entry point of of wooden toll bridge that was used from 1922 to 1941. Today, the only reminder of the structure is a plauqe that reads:

“On this site on April 19, 1923, a wooden drawbridge across the Banana River was opened to the public linking Merritt Island to Cocoa Beach. To pay for the bridge, there was a round trip toll of .20 for car and driver plus .04 charge for each additional passenger. Upon completion of State Road 520 in 1941, the old bridge was dismantled. Only the concrete abutment and a few pilings remain to mark the location of the bridge that opened Cocoa Beach to development.”

original-map-merritt-island-bridge-500

This map shows the routes of the original bridges in Merritt Island and Cocoa, as well as the proposed routes. The red route shows the path that drivers used prior to the construction of Hubert H. Humphrey Bridge


Click here to contribute your news or announcements Free