Yardley–Wilburtha Bridge

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Yardley–Wilburtha Bridge
PA 332 end at PA 32.jpg
The western terminus of the bridge was located at the intersection of PA 32 and PA 332 in Yardley. The western bridge abutment is now used as a veterans memorial.
Crosses Delaware River
Locale Wilburtha section of Ewing Township, New Jersey and Yardley, Pennsylvania
Characteristics
Design Truss bridge
Total length 903 feet (275 m)
History
Closed 1961

The Yardley–Wilburtha Bridge was a bridge spanning the Delaware River. The bridge was severely damaged by severe flooding in 1955 and was later demolished in 1961 after the completion of the nearby Scudder Falls Bridge.

History[edit]

The first structure located at the site of the now demolished Yardley–Wilburtha Bridge was built in 1835 by the Yardleyville-Delaware Bridge Company. It was originally a wooden toll bridge that connected the borough of Yardleyville (known today as Yardley) in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and the Greensburg (known today as Wilburtha) section of Ewing Township in Mercer County, New Jersey. The bridge, which was built on stone foundations, measured 903 feet (275 m) long and had six spans.

Little more than five years after having been built, the original bridge was damaged in a flood on January 8, 1841. Three of its spans were swept away, and it was replaced with another wooden bridge. For the next sixty years, the replacement bridge operated profitably and was eventually renamed the Yardley–Wilburtha Bridge when the two communities it connected were renamed.[1]

In October 1903, the Delaware River experienced its worst flood in history. The wooden Yardley–Wilburtha Bridge was devastated, and deemed well beyond repair. At this point, the Yardleyville-Delaware Bridge Company built a new steel Warren-truss bridge with six spans on the old bridge's foundation. In 1922, the bridge was purchased by the Pennsylvania-New Jersey Joint Bridge Commission, the predecessor to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.[2]

The flood of 1955, which was the result of Hurricane Connie and Hurricane Diane, washed away the steel bridge. It was replaced with an army-surplus Bailey bridge by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Two years later in the floods of 1957, this bridge was heavily damaged. Initially, the expectation was that it would be fully repaired. In the aftermath of the flood, though, it was decided that a new bridge would be built about 1.3 miles (2.1 km) north of where the Yardley–Wilburtha Bridge had stood. This was to become the Scudder Falls Bridge, which was opened in 1961 and serves the area to this day. Upon the completion of the new bridge, the Yardley–Wilburtha Bridge was demolished.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dale, Frank T. (2003). Bridges Over the Delaware River: A History of Crossings, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Pages 36-37. ISBN 0-8135-3212-4.
  2. ^ a b "Scudder Falls Bridge". Eastern Roads. Retrieved 2007-04-14. [unreliable source]

Coordinates: 40°14′46″N 74°50′08″W / 40.2460°N 74.8356°W / 40.2460; -74.8356