Best Place to Get Stuck - 2006
The Swing Bridge Over the North Fork of the New River
Every Florida driver has been held up by boat traffic. It's frustrating, sticking to your sweaty seat as some millionaire in a yacht stops traffic for miles. That's why the swing bridge in Sailboat Bend -- one of only 14 in the United States -- turns the gridlock into a refreshing pause. To open, the manually operated bridge is spun on its center pivot, and the span moves (slowly) 90 degrees to let boat traffic pass. Not many boats ply this short stretch of the river, and when they do, they pass by quickly. Watching the levers and gears turn on this old (built in 1927) bridge is far better than waiting for a glimpse of the Jungle Queen's upper deck through a cloud of bus exhaust. It's a slice of slow-paced, old-school history in a town that's nothing if not fast and new.