Tacony-Palmyra Bridge opens

The Tacony-Palmyra bridge, opened in 1929, as seen from the New Jersey shoreline. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Tacony-Palmyra Bridge over the Delaware River connects the towns of Palmyra, New Jersey, and Tacony (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania.

Built by the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge Company, it replaced the existing ferry service operating between the same two cities. Construction began in February 1928 and the structure opened on August 14, 1929.

Its total cost was slightly over four million dollars. Twenty years later, the bridge was acquired by its present owners, the Burlington County Bridge Commission, which has operated and maintained the span since then.

Designed by Rudolph Modjeski, whose previous engineering credits include the Manhattan Bridge and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge is 38 feet wide and carries three lanes of vehicular traffic—two into Philadelphia and one into New Jersey. Pedestrians are also allowed across the bridge.

The total length of the bridge is 3,659 feet. It is comprised of a through-tied arch at the middle of the river, a double-leaf bascule span, three-span continuous half through-truss spans, and deck girder approach viaduct spans. Vertical clearance under the center arch span is 64 feet at high tide and clearance under the bascule span is about 54 feet. Vessels needing a vertical clearance more than that of the center span will request a bridge opening. The bascule span's two leaves are then raised to permit passage.