|Delaware Memorial Bridge|
|Total length||3,291 meters|
|Main span||655 meters|
|Bridge deck height||53 meters|
|Opening||16-08-1951 / 12-09-1968|
|Traffic intensity||97,600 mvt/day|
The Delaware Memorial Bridge is a double set of suspension bridges spanning the Delaware River, between the state of Delaware and New Jersey.
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The Delaware Memorial Bridge are two parallel suspension bridges. The bridges have a total span of 3,291 and 3,281 meters and a main span of 655 meters. The free passage under the bridge is 53 meters. Crossing the bridge are Interstate 295 in New Jersey and US 40 in New Jersey with 2×4 lanes. The bridges open onto the New Jersey Turnpike on the New Jersey side, which handles through traffic to New York City. The Delaware Memorial Bridge is considered one of the most iconic bridges in the United States.
Since the 1920s, there had been visions and ideas for a connection south of the Delaware River at Wilmington. With the opening of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge some 50 kilometers upstream in Philadelphia, such a connection seemed feasible. A ferry service was started between Pennsville and New Castle in 1926. However, the construction of the bridge took a while. Philadelphia harbor owners opposed that a bridge would restrict shipping traffic. This battle lasted for twenty years. The rapid growth of car traffic after the Second World War made a connection increasingly necessary.
In 1945, the State Highway Departments of New Jersey and Delaware approved the construction. On June 13, 1946, the United States Congress approved construction, and on February 1, 1949, construction began on the Delaware River Bridge. The first bridge had a span of 655 meters between the two pylons. The bridge deck was raised 57 meters above the water, high enough for all shipping at that time. The bridge had 2×2 lanes. On April 22, 1951, the cable span between the two pylons was completed. On August 16, 1951, the Delaware Memorial Bridge opened to traffic, and three months later the New Jersey Turnpike opened .
The bridge was a great success from the start and in the 1960s it became clear that a second bridge was necessary. Construction of the second bridge began in 1964, apparently identical to the first bridge, but there are a number of differences, such as the width of the lanes, different escape routes and lighting. The second bridge opened on September 12, 1968. When the new bridge was opened, the old bridge was closed for 15 months to be reconstructed. On December 29, 1969, the first bridge reopened. This means that the double span has a total of 8 lanes.
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In 2011, 91,900 vehicles crossed the bridge daily, rising to 97,600 in 2016, relatively many for a long-distance connection. This is primarily through traffic that wants to bypass downtown Philadelphia and traffic toward New York City and the east coast of New Jersey.
The bridges are a toll road. The toll has been levied westward only since 1992 and is $4.