The bi-state Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) said it plans to release a series of archival bridge films that had been stored at the agency’s former headquarters in Morrisville.
The old film footage was recently digitized and the first reel – depicting the June 1933 demolition of the former wooden covered bridge between Upper Black Eddy, PA, and Milford, N.J. – is scheduled to premiere on the agency’s YouTube channel at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 22. The link for the film footage can be found at /youtu.be/l1PmnPQtBbM
The soon-to-be-released silent footage shows a variety of tasks, including pile driving of temporary steel supports in the river, hand and power saw cutting of old bridge timbers, moving of a rolling derrick atop the bridge, and unloading of bridge timbers at a temporary storage yard near the bridge. The work immediately preceded the construction of the current steel bridge.
The bridge construction project was arranged by the former Joint Commission for Elimination of Toll Bridges – Pennsylvania-New Jersey (the “Joint Commission”), the predecessor agency to the DRJTBC. The work was funded jointly by the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The states had acquired the bridge crossing in a 1929 in a purchase arranged by the former Joint Commission.
The footage dates from the early stages of the Upper Black Eddy-Milford Bridge Reconstruction Project, which was carried out by the McClintic-Marshall Co. of Bethlehem, under an $89,970 low-bid contract approved in March 1933.
To carry out the project, the former wooden bridge at the location was shut down to traffic on June 5, 1933. The Depression-era bridge project was carried out over a 222-day period, ending with the new bridge opening to traffic during a driving rain storm on Jan. 13, 1934.
The replacement bridge, which remains in operation to this day, is a three-span steel Warren through-truss structure with polygonal top chords and a concrete-filled steel grid road surface.
The steel bridge replaced a wooden covered bridge that had served the area for roughly 91 years.
For information, go to drjtbc.org.