Page 32 - Hancock County Tourism ~ 2021 History
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Do you know about...
the Bay St. Louis bridge
 As more and more people were attracted to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the early 1900s, the
need for better roads and travel routes became essential. Ferry service across the St. Louis Bay was slow and dangerous in the city’s early years. With a growing population and tourism industry, the increased traffic put a massive strain on ferry transportation.
In 1926, Hancock and Harrison Counties collaborated with the Mississippi Highway Department to begin construction of a new wooden bridge spanning the bay.
Half the cost was split between the two counties, with the other half paid for by the state. The new 1.9-mile long bridge was dedicated in March 1928.
While the bridge did ease traffic problems, the wooden structure needed constant maintenance, often causing long delays and forcing drivers to detour some 27 miles completely around the bay. After damage from a hurricane in 1947, it was obvious a more stable structure was needed.
The new bridge became a reality
in August of 1953. At 55 feet high, it survived for 52 years until Hurricane Katrina wiped it out in 2005. Ironically, ferry service was re-introduced, and the ferry made several trips across the bay daily until the bridge was replaced.
Just 21 months and $267 million later, the brand new, 85-foot-tall, four-lane span with
a pedestrian path was completed. Lights outline the entire gulf side of the bridge, and bronze relief plaques made from salvaged bearing plates from the old bridge retain a bit of bridge history.
The Bay St. Louis bridge, rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina

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