Tacony-Palmyra | Burlington-Bristol | Riverside-Delanco | Minor Bridges
The Tacony-Palmyra Bridge
- crosses the Delaware River between the cities of Palmyra, New Jersey and Tacony (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania
Read More about the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge on our History page
- designed by Ralph Modjeski (engineer of the Manhattan Bridge and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge)
- bridge replaced the existing ferry service, which began operating between Palmyra and Tacony in 1922
- built by the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge Company after receiving approval from both the United States Congress and the United States War Department
- construction began in February 1928
- bridge opened to traffic August 14, 1929
- comprised of several different types of structures:
- a through-tied arch at the middle of the river
- a double-leaf bascule span
- three-span continuous half through-truss spans
- deck girder approach viaduct spans
- in 1928-1929, total cost was approximately $4 million
- acquired by Burlington County Bridge Commission in 1948
- no tax money from Burlington County residents is used to maintain this bridge
January 1929: Erection of bascule span, which operates like a balance or seesaw—the rising floor section is counterbalanced by a weight; two rolling lifts power the bascule span.
- total length from abutment to abutment is 3,659 feet
- bridge is 38 feet wide and carries three lanes of vehicular traffic (two into Philadelphia and one into New Jersey) and also pedestrians across the river. In 1977, lanes were widened, thus changing from four lanes of vehicular traffic to three
- vertical clearance under main arch span at the center is 61 feet at high tide
- minimum vertical clearance under bascule span at high tide is approximately 54 feet
- marine vessels requiring a vertical clearance greater than that of the movable span in its normally closed position must request a bridge opening. The bascule span leaves are raised to permit passage of the vessel and vehicular traffic on the bridge is temporarily stopped until the vessel clears the bridge; the span then resumes its normal lowered position.
- electrical power is supplied by both PSE&G (NJ) and PECO (PA). Submarine cables that were installed underneath the riverbed carry power from one side to the other.
- both navigation lights and obstruction lights are installed on the bridge at various locations to warn both marine and air traffic of the bridge structure
- a complete replacement of the original bridge deck and maintenance walkways began in 1996 and was completed in 1998.
- E-Z Pass/electronic toll collection equipment added in 2003
- pier E/ u/s interim fender work completed in 2005
- replacement of steel track plates on the bascule span (the part of the bridge that opens for boat traffic) in 2006
- bearing replacement project completed in 2007
- replacement of submarine termination cable boxes on the bascule span in 2007
Opening Day Ceremony, August 14, 1929: NJ Governor Morgan Larson & Philadelphia Mayor Harry Mackey
- bridge remains in service to the public through all kinds of weather and conditions.
- one exception—December 1988, when a portion of the arch span was hit by a floating crane boom; this resulted in the bridge being completely closed to vehicular traffic for one month while the required repairs were completed.
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