The Greater North Miami Historical Society

 

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State Names 125 Street Bridge for Rick Ricciardelli
 
The Florida Legislature, in a measure initiated by North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin and sponsored by Senator Fredericka Wilson and Representative Ron Brise, has named the bridge on NE 125 Street, which crosses Biscayne Canal (NE 4 Avenue), in memory of Rick Ricciardelli. 
 
Ricciardelli, who died in 2002, was elected to the North Miami City Council in 1949 and spearheaded efforts to have the bridge built.
 
During his first term on the council, Ricciardelli saw the need to connect east-and-west North Miami.  Thus, he initiated a $98,000.00 bond issue to build the bridge across Biscayne Canal.  The bridge was completed in 1951.  Finally connected, the “Town of North Miami” met Florida Legislative standards and was then allowed to become the “City of North Miami.”
 
The naming of Ricciardelli Bridge took an interesting turn a few years ago when the State completely renovated the cement structure. 
 
Decades ago, the city council had previously named the same bridge for Ricciardelli.  A simple wooden plaque had been affixed to the bridge.  However, the State had never conferred such a title. 
 
When new construction began, Ricciardelli’s plaque disappeared.  Efforts by the North Miami Council and Greater North Miami Historical Society were made to have it returned.  However, in the eyes of the State, the bridge had never been named for Ricciardelli, because the Legislature had never given permission and North Miami did not have the right to name the bridge themselves.
 
In 2005, Councilman Galvin got the city council to pass a resolution asking the Florida Legislature to rename the bridge in Ricciardelli’s memory.  Senator Wilson and Representative Brise sponsored the measure and Governor Charlie Crist signed it into law in early June.  Efforts will now be undertaken to erect a permanent marker at the bridge.
 
In addition to his service on the North Miami City Council, the late Rick Ricciardelli was also a WWII veteran, a National Vice Commander of Am-Vets, and North Miami Municipal Judge.