Historical photos from the 1940s and 1950s, show no bridge between what would eventually be the Northeast Park and Shore Acres neighborhoods as those neighborhoods did not exist.
The Shore Acres and Northeast Park Neighborhoods were developed in the early 1960’s. A crossing was designed and built to cross Placido Bayou along 40th Avenue NE. The Nathanial J. Upham Bridge, named after a founding resident of the area, was finished in 1961.
Formerly a banker, Mr. Upham entered the real estate business in 1889, forming N.J. Upham and Co. with his brother T.H. Upham. Later in his career, Mr. Upham divided his time between Duluth, MN and St. Petersburg, FL where he maintained an interest in various real estate investments. He was President of the National Association of REALTORS® in 1922.
This bridge (number 157154) remained in continuous service through 1990, when It was widened from two to three lanes.
For the next 17 years, the bridge served as an important link connecting popular residential neighborhoods and the communities matured and flourished. Routine inspections every two years showed that the span was showing some signs of age, but remained a viable crossing.