Jacksonville is called The River City for good reason (although it's also been known as the City of Bridges). The wide St. Johns River bisects this sprawling city and runs into the Atlantic Ocean to the east while the whole of a large St. Johns tributary, the Trout River, lies completely inside the Jacksonville city limits.
Add a high water table and land that, at its highest point, is only 40 feet above sea level, and you have a very watery place that's prone to flooding, with more than 13 percent of the sprawling city's 875 square miles—the largest surface area of any U.S. city in the lower 48—under water.
Jacksonville obliged with seven major bridges over the St. Johns River and one over the Trout River for a total of eight major bridges for road traffic in Jacksonville.
7 Bridges Over the St. Johns River
The seven main bridges over the St. Johns River are all commonly known by shorter versions of their full names; the short names appear in parentheses below. From downstream to upstream, the seven include:
- Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Bridge (or, the Dames Point Bridge)
- John E. Mathews Bridge (or, the Mathews Bridge)
- Isaiah D. Hart Bridge (or, the Hart Bridge)
- John T. Alsop Jr. Bridge (or, the Main Street Bridge)
- St. Elmo W. Acosta Bridge (or, the Acosta Bridge)
- Fuller-Warren Bridge (I-95 traffic)
- Henry Holland Buckman Bridge (or, the Buckman Bridge; I-295 North and I-295 South traffic)
There's also an additional crossover, the Trout River Bridge, which extends over its eponymous waterway.
What to Know about Jacksonville's Bridges
If you're interested in the history or background of Jacksonville's bridges, take a look at some of these fun facts:
- At two miles long, the Dames Point Bridge is the longest concrete cable bridge in the United States.
- The Main Street Bridge was officially renamed the John T. Alsop Jr. Bridge in 1957, but it continues to be known as the Main Street Bridge, even on signs and maps.
- John T. Alsop Jr. Bridge is often referred to as the “blue bridge." It is the only lift bridge or movable bridge in the city.
- The John E. Mathews Bridge, or the Mathews Bridge, was named after the former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice who helped acquire the bridge's funding.
- The St. Elmo W. Acosta Bridge, known for its neon blue lights, was originally called the St. Johns River Bridge. It was built in 1921, then rebuilt in 1991, when it inherited its current name.
- No bridges in Jacksonville collect tolls; the practice was abolished in 1988.
- The Riverside Arts Market, a weekly market featuring local artists, vendors, and a farmers' market, is held beneath the Fuller-Warren Bridge in Riverside.