The History of the Ben Franklin Bridge
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 is named after Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a scientist, inventor, diplomat, and statesman. He is best known for his work on electricity and for his role in drafting the Declaration of Independence.
The Ben Franklin Bridge is a popular tourist destination. It is also a major transportation artery, carrying more than 40,000 vehicles and pedestrians each day. The bridge is a symbol of the friendship between Philadelphia and Camden, and it is a reminder of the important role that transportation plays in our economy and our lives.
Here are some of the key events in the history of the Ben Franklin Bridge:
- 1922: Construction begins on the bridge.
- 1926: The bridge is officially opened on July 1.
- 1936: The bridge is designated a National Historic Landmark.
- 1940s: The bridge is used to transport troops and supplies during World War II.
- 1950s: The bridge is modernized with the addition of a new traffic deck.
- 1970s: The bridge is repainted in its current blue and gold colors.
- 1990s: The bridge undergoes a major renovation, including the replacement of the main cables.
- 2000s: The bridge celebrates its 75th anniversary.
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.