Snow-Reed Swing Bridge

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11th Avenue Swing Bridge
Snow read swing bridge.jpg
Coordinates 26°06′57″N 80°09′21″W / 26.11581°N 80.15596°W / 26.11581; -80.15596Coordinates: 26°06′57″N 80°09′21″W / 26.11581°N 80.15596°W / 26.11581; -80.15596
Carries 2 lanes, pedestrians, and bicycles
Crosses New River
Locale Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Official name Snow-Reed Swing Bridge
Maintained by City of Fort Lauderdale
Design truss swing bridge
Clearance below 4 feet (1 m) at mean low water
Opened 1925
11th Avenue Swing Bridge is located in Florida
11th Avenue Swing Bridge
11th Avenue Swing Bridge
Location in Florida

The Snow-Reed Swing Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the Fort Lauderdale area, and one of the few remaining swing bridges in Florida. Located between the 300 and 500 block of Southwest 11th (Palm) Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the bridge connects the neighborhoods of Sailboat Bend and Riverside Park.


A wood bridge supported by a single piling used to cross at SW 9th Avenue.[1] In 1916, the old Andrews Avenue swing bridge was moved to cross at 11th Avenue. Locals along the North Fork requested the bridge.[2] This was replaced in 1924 by a new swing bridge, which is still in place.


The bridge was constructed from 1924 to 1925 according to the plaque mounted on the NW bridge abutment wall, which reads:

  • City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Officers 1924
  • R.G. Snow, Mayor
  • Councilmen: Frank Stranahan, Chairman
  • Geo. Young, R.E. Dye, J.A. Warren
  • Officers 1925
  • Will J. Reed, Mayor
  • ...
  • Jasper Lawson, Clerk
  • H.C. Davis, Engineer
  • Erected 1924-25 by
  • The Champion Bridge Company, Wilmington Ohio

The Champion Bridge Company was a well-known builder of truss bridges.[3] The bridge is a truss bridge with an approximately 100-foot span[citation needed]. To open the bridge for marine vessels, an electric motor drives a pinion gear which engages a ring gear in the base of the bridge. If the electric motor is not working, the bridge can also be opened manually using a large wrench (approx. 8' DEEP socket with an 8' long handle).

In the 1990s because of cross river crime, some residents sought to remove the bridge.[4]


The bridge was closed for nearly a year for a major renovation and reopened on August 1, 2010. Contractors replaced damaged structural steel, added new railings and grating, upgraded mechanical and electrical systems, and constructed a new tender control house.[5]


  1. ^ Stout, Wesley (December 15, 1954). "The Beachcomber: Tailhold on Big Wildcat". Fort Lauderdale Daily News. 
  2. ^ Hathaway, Robert. "The Original Palm Avenue Swing Bridge". Broward Legacy. Broward Historical Commission. 28 (1). 
  3. ^ "Champion Bridge Co". Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  4. ^ Woolfe, Tao (October 15, 1994). "Water calm but bridge is troubled". Sun-Sentinel. pp. 1B, 7B. 
  5. ^ Jordan, Richard (April 2010). "Rehab project continues on 75-year-old swing bridge". Waterfront News. Ziegler Publishing. Archived from the original on April 14, 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 

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