Philadelphia's Lost Waterfront
Ben Franklin Bridge
In front of you is the Ben Franklin Bridge. Walk straight under it, and I'll tell you a bit about it.
Leaders from Pennsylvania and New Jersey had talked for years about constructing a bridge or tunnel between Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. In 1919, legislation was passed in both states to build a bridge across the Delaware River, and construction began in 1922. The bridge opened on the first of July, 1926, just in time for the nation’s 150 year Exposition celebration in Philadelphia. It cost 37 million dollars and has been characterized as [quote] "the first distinctly modern suspension bridge built on a grand scale.”
The bridge was an instant success, attracting thirty-five thousand vehicles a day to cross the Delaware at twenty-five cents a passage.
The structure’s 1,750 foot-long center span was the world’s longest single suspension span for a while. Its towers rise nearly 400 feet above the river. Over twenty-five thousand miles of cable were used, each thirty inches in diameter.
Continue walking straight along the sidewalk next to the river.