will NOT be affected. 3 Authorities estimate more than 100-thousand vehicles travel over the Mathews every day. It's the main route drivers take when going downtown from the Beaches, Arlington and some parts of the Southside. Kent Justice tells us about how the Mathews was built and the changes it's had over the years. 3 KENT PKG ON MATHEWS BRIDGE HISTORYPhoto 2 In the fifties - dirt roads and woods made up Arlington - a place only accessible by ferry - crossing the St. Johns River.Photo 1 Named for a Florida lawmaker and Chief Justice - the Mathews Bridge earned its birth when John E.Mathews helped raise money for construction.That construction came after two decades oF debate.Finally in 1950, the State Road Department approved $42-million for the bridge and Arlington Expressway - to bring cars downtown.A ribbon cutting opened the bridge on April 15th, 1953 - and city leaders made the first trip across.Tolls - like this 15-cent ticket - eventually arrived for all the bridges in the area.Originally silver - in 1984 Maroon helped celebrate the Jacksonville Bulls, the River City's team in the USFL.In 2007 - construction replaced open grating in the center span - where it's been open since - aside for short closures for painting.