I am so excited. After years of construction, mess and traffic re-routs, The Bridge of Lions downtown St. Augustine will open a week from today -- at 10 am on March 17.
This has been a five-year-long, $80 million restoration project and the residents have been very patient throughout this process. When I am showing homes in St. Augustine, I make it a point to cross the temporary bridge and proudly tell of the restoration of the Lions and the story of our historic Bridge of Lions while navigating through construction traffic.
There's bound to be a joyful crowd for the ceremony that will include remarks by officials, a ribbon cutting and a procession led by a group of "selected pedestrians" and antique vehicles.
The selected pedestrians, 27 in all and called The '27 Club because the bridge first opened in 1927, will be the official first pedestrians to cross the restored Bridge of Lions. This group was selected from a drawing that I, unfortunately, never entered. However time will then be allowed for the general public (I'll be there for sure!) to walk the bridge before it is brought into full service by switching vehicular traffic from the temporary bridge.
Also participating will be The Ancient City Auto Club. They will provide a car from each decade of the bridge's service starting with the 1920s and continuing into the 21st Century.
After the reopening of the Bridge of Lions, the project will still continue with the dismantling of the temporary bridge and landscaping installation which will take approximately another year.
Our beloved Lions will return to their place of honor at the foot of the bridge when the entire project is complete. Expect another huge ceremony when this happens, and expect to see me there too!