WHEREAS, the Bridge of Lions is the primary transportation link between
downtown St. Augustine and Anastasia Island, and
WHEREAS, the architecture of the 1927 bridge is unique to St. Augustine, and
has become symbolic of our town's commitment to preserving our historic heritage, and
WHEREAS, automotive traffic across the bridge has increased to nearly twice its
design capacity, and the narrow roadbed, proximity of automobiles to pedestrians,
cyclists, and joggers is dangerous, and
WHEREAS, the existing 76 foot horizontal opening for marine traffic is below
the United States Coast Guard standard of 125 feet, creating a compromise of safety for
commercial and recreational marine traffic as a result of this deficiency, and
WHEREAS, the combination of emergency breakdown lanes, a slightly higher
vertical clearance requiring less draw openings, and less accidents would help reduce
traffic congestion in downtown St. Augustine, and
WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Transportation, in its Draft Environmental
Impact Statement of 1998, concerning the above, identified the option of constructing a
new, safe, architecturally similar, two lane bridge meeting current safety guidelines,
providing standard travel lanes, breakdown lanes, a protected pedestrian walkway, a
standard width horizontal opening and 8 foot higher vertical clearance for marine traffic,
WHEREAS, the consequences of this decision will continue for over 50 years.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the City Commission of the City of St.
Augustine, as follows:
1. That the existing Bridge of Lions is inadequate to serve the transportation
needs of our growing city.
2. That the rehabilitation of the current bridge will do little or nothing to
improve traffic congestion or public safety.
3. That the logical solution to the bridge question is to follow the plan described
as II-B in the FDOT Draft Environmental Impact Study, calling for construction of a
new 2-lane bridge, meeting all current design safety criteria, and to replicate, as nearly as
possible, the architecture of the existing Bridge of Lions.
4. That the Florida Department of Transportation develop detailed architectural
and engineering plans for this new bridge, and commit the resources necessary for the
design and construction of a bridge that will satisfy the concerns of historic
preservationists who recognize the cultural importance of the Bridge of Lions, while
providing a safe and efficient means of transportation for automobile, bicycle, pedestrian,
wheelchair, and marine traffic.