The pons Cestius is the first bridge that reached the right bank of Tiber form the Tiber Island. While the island was long connected with the left bank of the Tiber, even before the pons Fabricius, the right bank (Transtiber) remained unconnected until the Cestius. Several prominent members of the Cestii clan from this period are known, but it is uncertain which built this bridge.
In the fourth century the pons Cestius was rebuilt by the Emperors Valentinian I, Valens and Gratian and re-dedicated in 370 as the pons Gratiani. The bridge was rebuilt using tuff and peperino, with facing of travertine. Some of the rebuilding material came from the demolished porticus of the nearby Theatre of Marcellus.
During the building of the walls along the river enbankment between the years 1888 and 1892, the bridge had to be demolished and rebuilt, as the western channel was widened from 48 to 76 meters. The ancient bridge, which had two small arches, was simply not long enough. A new bridge, with three large arches, was constructed in its stead, with its central arch reusing about two-thirds of the original material.