|January 2014 (26.98736 Degrees, -80.60430 Degrees) Port Mayaca Railroad Bridge|
After visiting the West Lake Road Bridge, I drove north along Lake Okeechobee to another interesting movable bridge. The Port Mayaca Railroad Bridge is a steel girder bridge with a lift span over the Saint Lucie Canal. The South Central Florida Express (SCFX) Railroad is a short line owned by U.S. Sugar. According to "Movable Bridge Engineering," by Terry L. Koglin, the bridge was built in 1925, spans a 56 ft wide canal, and provides 48 ft of vertical clearance. The Saint Lucie Canal empties into the Intercoastal Waterway 38 miles to the east in Stuart, Florida.
Lake Okeechobee would flow into the canal except there's a gate between the canal and Lake Okeechobee. I read that the gate is to keep the polluted water from flowing out of Lake Okeechobee. I drove to the gate and walked along a Florida Water Management utility road to get an elevation view of the bridge. The photo above shows that the main span is a four-legged structure with counterweight sheaves that can raise and lower a pony plate girder movable span. You can see the counterweights just above the tracks.
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