WWI Victory Bridge commemorates 100th Anniversary
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Wednesday marked the 100th Anniversary of the opening of Victory Bridge, the first major highway bridge connecting east and west Florida.
The bridge over the Apalachicola River was named after the triumphs of World War I.
At the commemoration, the Chattahoochee community remembered how far they’ve come.
“This is a monument that should be on the National Historic Registry. In my opinion this is the prettiest bridge in all of Florida,” Shelia Young with the NW Florida Living History Association said.
David Avant III said his dad attended the dedication of Victory Bridge on July 20, 1922.
“He was here when he was four years old. He said everyone was so proud that they didn’t have to take the ferry across the river or swim across on their horse,” Avant III said.
Victory Bridge was also a part of the original Old Spanish Trail Highway, running all the way from the east coast of Florida to California.
The bridge closed to vehicles in 1994, but the Chattahoochee Mayor is hoping to receive federal and state funding to repair the structure and allow pedestrians to walk across again.
“When we were young we would walk on it, it’s beautiful,” Amy Glass said. “It’s a landmark that should be used and shouldn’t be sitting and rotting.”
At the event, the community also reflected on how Chattahoochee came together 100 years ago to overcome the influenza and now they’re going through a new pandemic, COVID-19, in addition to lingering damage from Hurricane Michael.
“After Hurricane Michael, some of the people here were without water and utilities for 27 days. Then, the pandemic hit and people pulled together to make sure people were okay. There was quite a few people that passed away from coronavirus, but overall, it’s kind of slowed down now, which we are grateful for,” Glass said. “We all just pull together, that’s what Chattahoochee does. We are a town that comes together when people are in need.”
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