How the Ben Franklin Bridge Was Built
The Ben Franklin Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the Delaware River, connecting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden, New Jersey. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was completed in 1926, and it remains one of the most iconic bridges in the United States.
The bridge was designed by Polish-born engineer Ralph Modjeski and American architect Paul Philippe Cret. Construction began in 1922 and took four years to complete. The bridge was officially opened on July 1, 1926, by President Calvin Coolidge.
The Ben Franklin Bridge was built using a variety of methods, including:
- Rivets: Rivets were used to connect the steel beams that make up the bridge’s superstructure. Rivets are small metal pins that are hammered into place to join two pieces of metal together.
- Cables: The bridge’s main cables are made up of thousands of individual wires that are twisted together. The cables are anchored to the bridge’s towers and support the weight of the bridge’s deck.
- Paint: The bridge is painted blue and gold. The blue paint helps to protect the steel from corrosion, and the gold paint gives the bridge its distinctive appearance.
The construction of the Ben Franklin Bridge was a major undertaking. It required the coordination of thousands of workers and the use of cutting-edge engineering techniques. The bridge’s completion was a major milestone in the development of transportation in the United States.
Here are some of the challenges that were faced during the construction of the Ben Franklin Bridge:
- The Delaware River: The Delaware River is a major shipping lane, and the bridge had to be built in a way that did not interfere with traffic.
- The weather: The bridge was built during the winter, and the cold weather made it difficult to work.
- The workers: The bridge was built by thousands of workers, and some of them died during the construction.
Despite the challenges, the Ben Franklin Bridge was completed on time and within budget. It is a testament to the ingenuity and hard work of the people who built it.
The Ben Franklin Bridge is a beloved landmark that has stood the test of time. It is a reminder of the ingenuity and innovation of our ancestors, and it is a testament to the power of friendship and cooperation.