Sunset Beach Swing Bridge – Historic Landmark

Though 2012 is just around the corner, the end of 2010 ended an era when the familiar 500-foot-long single lane pontoon swing bridge of neighboring Sunset Beach was retired. Servicing traffic to and from the island since 1961, it was the last of its kind still in operation on the east coast. Every morning, at each hour between 7am to 9am, traffic would sit at a red light on either side of the waterway. The bridge would swing to the side to allow boat passage with a system of pulleys and cables. From a vantage point in a little white house that sits directly on the wooden bridge itself, the bridge operator would open the bridge at the top of each hour. Throughout the day as well, a signal from a commercial boat would command a repeat performance.With the demands of tourism, a growing population and progression in general, the old bridge became obsolete. Despite 30 years of controversy from locals that did not want to see the bridge replaced, a new 65-foot-high two lane arch bridge was completed in October 2010, the Mannon C. Gore Bridge.

The antique bridge was moved to a donated portion of land just beside her replacement. Currently decorated for the holidays at her dry dock, she frequently receives visitors from history buffs, old friends and locals alike.

You can see a video of the last day the bridge was in operation here.

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