Bridge History from YCE Perspective

There is no way to reach our Yacht Club Estates neighborhood, except by boat, without traveling the Treasure Island Bridge and/or the associated Causeway. Let's take a moment to learn about this bridge and review it's history.

ti bridge 1939The Treasure Island Causeway connects St. Petersburg with Treasure Island.  It carries Pinellas County CR 150, also known as Central Avenue in St Petersburg, and 107th Avenue in Treasure Island.  The Treasure Island Bridge is actually a network of three bridges, two fixed and one draw bridge, the center bridge. The original Causeway was constructed with post-war WPA funds.  Causeway and bridge completion in 1939 spurred development of the Gulf Beaches. The photo shows the bridge at this time.

The Treasure Island Causeway was owned and maintained by the City of Treasure Island.   How could this happen since the city limits dividing St. Petersburg and Treasure Island run right through the middle of the drawbridge?  According to history, in exchange for Treasure Island owning and operating the causeway structures within the St. Petersburg city limits, St. Petersburg obtained ownership to the St. Petersburg Municipal Beach on the Gulf of Mexico within the Treasure Island city limits, which exists today.

ti bridge pre-yceThe next photo shows a view of TI Causeway and Bridge before Causeway Isles or Yacht Club Estates existed.  Note the Islands on the western end of the bridge.  These were used for fill to create Paradise Island and perhaps also for our neighborhood..

City of Treasure Island identified an interesting income opportunity in this ownership agreement with St. Petersburg.  In 1955, an Agreement was reached with the original Causeway Isles Developer and the City of Treasure Island, that each lot owner of Causeway Isles would be required to pay an annual Road Tax of $10.00 to the City of Treasure Island. This tax was for the use of the Eastern Portion of the Treasure Island Causeway. Frank Strumm, initial developer of Yacht Club Estates, originally refused to include this Road Tax in the YCE deed restrictions.  He made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the City of St. Petersburg to build a special bridge to Yacht Club Estates.  Eventually, he was forced to give in and YCE homeowners were also required to pay this fee until the original bridge was replaced in 2007. Funding came from the Federal Government thanks to the assistance of Congressman C.W. “Bill” Young.   The funding came with the stipulation that toll collection would be ended.

Here is one last item for history buffs, how did people get to Treasure Island and St. Petersburg Beach before the Treasure Island and Corey Causeway Bridges were completed in the 1930's?? Those of your who read nautical charts (or happened to view our Link on Directions to YCE by by Boat) may have noticed the reference to bridge ruins running along the southern nautical border of YCE.

Learn about the historic McAdoo Bridge!