The Frenchtown Bridge

The first bridge across the Delaware River at Frenchtown was a covered wooden bridge that was supported by the five stone and masonry piers that still stand today. The bridge was constructed in 1841, which was the year the first wagon train of American settlers arrived in California and 20 years before Abraham Lincoln was elected president.

      The present bridge between Frenchtown and Uhlerstown, PA is 951.2 feet long. In 2015, 4,000 cars crossed the bridge each day. These cars travelled a total of 3,804,800 feet (951.2 feet x 4,000 cars) every day, which equals 721 miles per day (3,804,800 feet/5,280 ft per mile]. This is enough mileage to get a single car all the way from Frenchtown to the outskirts of Chicago

      The width of the bridge’s roadway is 16.4 feet and, normally, this would be considered enough for only a one-way thoroughfare. However, two-way traffic is allowed and is made possible and safe by requiring drivers to move at only 15 miles-per-hour.

      The bridge has its own bridgetender who watches for large trucks or other heavy vehicles that exceed the designated 15-ton weight limit from a small office on the upstream side of the span on the New Jersey side. Any vehicles stopped are rerouted to the Milford Bridge or to other bridges to the south. This is an important job, since many historic bridges have been damaged by trucks who ignored weight limit signs and drove over the bridges.