Progress in Downtown Pensacola

By Mike Simmons

It was finally finished! Pensacola, like most other towns, had suffered through the Great Depression. But…there was finally some progress being shown. The start of 1934 opened serious talks – including bids – on it. On Thursday, January 11, 1934, the low bid of $187,000 was awarded to the W. J. Noonan Construction Company of Pensacola for the construction of the new, modern overpass in downtown Pensacola. The overpass, built to alleviate traffic from the L & N Railroad which ran along Tarragona Street, was to span from Hayne Street to Guillemarde Street.

Pensacola Police Motor Officers pose on the new overpass

Work got underway quickly. It was the talk of the town. Citizens watched daily at the progress being made, anticipating the convenience that the modern structure would provide.

The February 23, 1935 edition of the Pensacola News Journal reported the official opening ceremony of the overpass and the paving of Cervantes Street from 16th Avenue to “O” Street (Pace Blvd). The total cost was $300,000.

At the ceremony, Little Miss Joyce Webb cut the ribbon and Rabbi Martin Friedmann of Temple Beth El gave the invocation. Temple Beth El is located next to the bridge.

The ceremony was followed by hundreds of automobiles driving across the span, directed by a small army of Pensacola Police Officers. Progress.


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