In 1923, the cities of San Mateo, Burlingame, and Hillsborough began planning for a bridge to link the San Francisco Bay peninsula cities with East Bay and Central Valley communities. Even after the Dumbarton Bridge opened, in 1927, these municipalities continued pursuing construction of a bridge for the San Mateo area.
In 1928, bridge construction began. Cement for the piles and deck slabs for the bridge came from Redwood City. Oyster shells dredged from the Bay in the Redwood City area were also used as part of the cement mix. In 1929, after only fourteen months of construction, the bridge was finished ahead of schedule. The City of San Mateo then celebrated the opening of the new $7.5 million, 7 mile-long "San Francisco Bay Toll Bridge". During that period of time, it was considered the longest continual vertical lift highway bridge in the world.
During the 1930's fewer than 2,000 vehicles crossed the bridge daily. The number of vehicles crossing the bridge increased to 9,000 within the the next 20 years, prompting civic leaders to consider the need for a new bridge. In 1967, construction for the new San Mateo Bridge was completed. The new bridge did away with the need for a drawbridge since it was constructed high to allow ships to pass under.
[At the top of the marker the question is asked:]
"Did you know?
In 1929 the original bridge toll was 45 cents for a five passenger car and 80 cents for a horse drawn wagon."