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Where should a Matlacha Bridge marker go?

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Photo: Video by fox4now.com

Where should a Matlacha Bridge marker go?

By Fox 4 News Staff. CREATED Jan 6, 2013 - UPDATED: Jan 7, 2013

MATLACHA, Fla. - "it's a grassroots effort to keep the bridge alive," said Rob Mazzoli, the founder of the Matlacha Bridge Reef Project.

Mazzoli says it's to memorialize the old Matlacha Bridge, a 48-year-old landmark.

"We want those same people to be able to go to the reef to fish off the bridge," said Mazzoli.

Mazzoli started the organization in June. It's dedicated to transporting the old bridge's rubble to an artificial reef in Charlotte County. He says a marker from the original bridge belongs there, too.

"Without those markers there, it loses some of it's significance," said Mazzoli.

But there's opposition. 

"That is a part of Matlacha history and to me it's almost sacred and they're going to dump it in the ocean?," quested Leoma Lovegrove, the president of the Matlacha Chamber of Commerce.

"There's two end caps," said Leoma. "We're just wanting one."

Lovegrove wants a cornerstone preserved in a future park about 100 feet away.

"That we can go on the social media network and say hey here's our historical marker," explained Lovegrove. "It'll bring a lot of tourism here."

Mazzoli says he's open to Lovegrove's request but can't just give one away. He says donors raised $30,000 for the reef project.

"If they want to join the effort and raise some money for a third barge load, then I'll give them one of the markers," said Mazzoli.

But Lovegrove said, "There should not be a charge for that. They should be wanting to preserve history and be a part of that history."

As two sides work to bridge this divide.

Mazzoli says the price for an end cap is negotiable.