The Benjamin Franklin
Bridge – known informally as the Ben Franklin Bridge and originally named the Delaware River Bridge – is a suspension bridge across the Delaware River connecting Philadelphia
and Camden, New Jersey. Along with the Betsy Ross, Walt Whitman, and Tacony-Palmyra
Bridges, the Benjamin Franklin is one of four primary vehicular bridges between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. The Commodore Barry Bridge
in Delaware County
, Pennsylvania and the Burlington-Bristol
Bridge in Bucks County
, Pennsylvania connect suburban Philadelphia with southern New Jersey. The bridge is owned and operated by the Delaware River Port Authority.
History And Use:
The chief engineer of the bridge was Polish-born Ralph Modjeski, its design engineer was Leon Moisseiff, and the supervising architect was Paul Philippe Cret. At its completion on July 1, 1926, its 1,750 foot (533 meter) span made it the World
's longest suspension bridge span, a distinction it would hold until the opening of the Ambassador Bridge in 1929.
The bridge currently carries highways I-676 and US 30, the latter since its opening or very soon thereafter. Before the 1953 New Jersey State Highway renumbering, Route 25, Route 43 and Route 45 ended in the middle of the bridge. The bridge also carries the Port Authority Transit Corporation's Lindenwold High-Speed Line (PATCO Speedline) via connecting tunnels on both sides of the bridge.
In Popular Culture:
- A 2006 production of the musical Godspell at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, directed by Ryan Oczkowski, was set under the Franklin Bridge, with Jesus' followers portrayed as living in a shack there.
- The bridge is one of the landmarks seen in the opening credits of the television series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.