Troubled history of the Mathews Bridge
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The John E. Mathews Bridge opened April 15, 1953.
It became a major artery from Arlington into downtown Jacksonville. The bridge originally had metal grating, which was problematic at best.
In 1999 it was replaced at a cost of $2.9 million. In 2003 the Florida Department of Transportation replaced the grating once again for $3 million. According to reports, there were nine wrecks in the first month.
Drivers continued to complain about slick conditions on the bridge and in 2004 a woman was thrown out of her Jeep in a crash and into the water below. Donna Campbell's death sparked a renewed effort to replace the metal grating.
In 2007 taxpayers spent $12.9 million to install lightweight concrete to smooth out the ride over the Mathews.
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