1926 â€” John Ringling dreamed of developing St. Armands, Longboat and Lido keys. But he knew that to build his vision on the islands, he needed a bridge to the mainland. He put $1 million of his own money into building the bridge that was completed in 1926. A drawbridge replaced the original bridge in 1958.
2003 â€” PCL Civil Contractors took two-and-a-half-years to complete construction of the John Ringling Causeway Bridge. Rising costs of building materials and labor meant that what was originally supposed to be a $37 million bridge became a $67 million project. Opening ceremonies for the bridge occurred Aug. 31, 2003.
Today â€” The Sarasota City Commission reached consensus for a â€śclassic contemporaryâ€ť bridge. Approximately 41,250 drivers use the bridge each day. By 5:30 a.m., walkers and joggers are using the structure for an early-morning workout. Many annual events, such as the Ringling Bridge Run, celebrate the landmark.
Opening ceremonies for the bridge occurred Aug. 31, 2003.
Today â€” In addition to serving as a physical connection between Sarasota and Bird Key, the bridge became a way to connect the people in the community.