At the time of its construction the Sandusky Bay Bridge was the longest bridge and causeway in Ohio. The construction firm was “A. Bentley and Sons” from Toledo and the engineers were “Harrington, Howard and Ash” from St. Louis. Steel work was done by the Mount Vernon Bridge Company.
To commemorate the opening of the bridge, a luncheon was held at the Sandusky Junior High School. Ohio Governor Myers Y. Cooper addressed an audience of 1,600. He began with “I assure you it is a very deep satisfaction to me to come to Erie County and the progressive city of Sandusky to celebrate with you the consummation of a great business enterprise which will be of incalculable benefit to the citizens, not only of this county, but of Northern Ohio.”
Congressman James T. Begg, who had been instrumental in the Sandusky Bay Bridge project presided as toastmaster. Just before the luncheon twenty carrier pigeons were released, through an arrangement with the Sandusky Register. The pigeons carried a message from Gov. Cooper and were sent to other Ohio newspapers, Chambers of Commerce, and Auto Clubs.
Shortly after 3 p.m. on February 2, Governor Cooper shook hands with Toledo Mayor Jackson as the imaginary ribbon was cut, and the bridge was formally opened to traffic. The oldest person in Erie County, Mrs. Christina Heim, age 101, and the oldest person in Ottawa County, Robert Meacham, age 90, took part in the ceremonies. The Ackley Band played, and there was a 17-gun salute. Ohio’s Adjutant General sent three airplanes which flew over the bridge dropping aerial bombs in honor of the occasion. A chief from the Chippewa nation presented Gov. Cooper with a headdress, as he became an honorary member of the Chippewa tribe.
An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 automobiles crossed the bridge that day. Tolls were not charged until midnight. Fees were charged for crossing the bridge until 1946.
By the 1960’s the state of Ohio as widening Route 2 into a four lane highway. The four lane Edison Memorial Bridge was constructed parallel to the Sandusky Bay Bridge. Both bridges were used from 1965 until the mid-1980’s when the State of Ohio removed the steel center of the old bridge, because of the high cost of maintenance. Now the two ends of the Sandusky Bay Bridge are used as fishing piers.