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Proposed bridge arousing much talk

Headlines through the years

A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times.

Sept. 10, 1925

CLEARWATER _ The proposed bridge across Old Tampa Bay from Rocky Point in Hillsborough County to the eastern terminus of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard from Clearwater is again arousing much interest.

Cost of this project is stated as $5-million. Operators have been quietly securing options on large tracts of land on the Old Tampa Bay side and on the Hillsborough County end of the proposed span. Boosters assert that with the completion of this bridge, which they say is a sure thing, Clearwater will be within half an hour's running time from Tampa in a motor car.

Sept. 7, 1950

Hundreds of evacuees return to beach homes after two days

CLEARWATER _ Hundreds of evacuees from Clearwater Beach and Indian Rocks returned to their hurricane-swept homes today after being housed two nights on the mainland with the compliments of the American Red Cross at hurricane shelter stations.

Some residents found their homes shattered by the storm that began as a "baby," grew up Monday night and spent most of its adult life in and around the Pinellas County coast.

Helmeted troops of a Clearwater-based National Guard infantry company patrolled Clearwater Beach all day yesterday and last night.

Motor travel to the island was slowed to a trickle. Drivers were halted at the mainland approach to Clearwater Memorial Causeway. Only those with passes got through, and passes were hard to get.

These extra precautions were taken to shut the island off from sightseers and to keep a check on possible looters. National Guardsmen maintained the second line of defense on the island, packing loaded .45-caliber automatics.

With the hurricane finally leaving Pinellas alone, Clearwater began adding up City Hall's bill for storm damage.

Start with the cost of rebuilding the south end of Gulf View Boulevard on the island, with estimates running as high as $20,000. Here is a major construction project involving not only the replacement of cracked and shattered concrete surfacing but also the base on which the old paving rested. Curbing along the gulf side of the thoroughfare was destroyed.

The street proper is covered with sand, reaching a depth of 6 inches in spots.

Other major repair jobs include the damage at the municipal wharves in front of the Bayfront auditorium.

One huge section of the auditorium dock was washed away, and two cruisers moored to it went to the bottom.

Sept. 9, 1925

Traffic lights will be installed at downtown Clearwater streets

CLEARWATER _ Automatic traffic signals are to be installed at Fort Harrison Avenue and Cleveland Street and at Cleveland and Garden Avenue.

At the latest City Commission meeting, it was decided that the lights should be suspended in the center of the intersections, supported on cables stretched from buildings on opposite corners. Cheaper devices could have been chosen, but the commissioners took the said nothing was too good for Clearwater.

Installation of these signals will lesson the work of the police force and permit men now doing traffic officer duty to be used as patrolmen in districts where their presence is desirable.

Sept. 9, 1925

Official urges action for juveniles

CLEARWATER _ County commissioners at their meeting Tuesday afternoon considered the appointment of a county agricultural agent, who, of course, is to be a man.

Also, Largo fairgrounds are to be improved, according to plans of the commission, in accordance with wishes expressed by members of the fair association.

Mrs. Ida Dann, policewoman of St. Petersburg, appeared before the commission to stress the necessity of deciding what to do with juvenile delinquents, mostly girls. The commissioners appeared to favor building a house of detention or some similar institution on the county lands at Largo.

Theresa Blackwell compiles the history column. She can be reached at (727) 771-4305 or blackwellsptimes.com.

CIRCA 1950: Hurricane damage is shown along what was the beach road in Indian Rocks Beach in the early 1950s, possibly 1950 just after Hurricane Easy. The road was moved inland and is now known as Gulf Boulevard. Hurricane Easy churned just off Florida's west coast in September 1950 and struck Cedar Key and Bayport as a Category 3 storm, killing two people and causing $3.3-million in damage. Nearly 39 inches of rain was recorded at Yankeetown in Levy County.

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