Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Bridges
A photographic look at all five highway bridges over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
Former U.S. 213 joins the split town of Chesapeake City, Maryland via a two-lane steel arch bridge. Maryland 213 (Augustine Herman Highway) soars over the canal and towns below between Maryland 286 (George Street) and Maryland 285 (Lock Street). Maryland 286 and Basic Avenue intersect Maryland 213 at the south approach to the bridge. Maryland 285 intersects the Augustine Herman Highway one half mile north of the canal itself.
The Chesapeake City Bridge opened to traffic in 1949. The suspension arch bridge replaced a vertical lift bridge constructed in 1927. On July 28, 1942 the tanker "Franz Klasen" struck the original span resulting in its destruction.1 A ship collision also destroyed the St. Georges vertical lift bridge.2
Completed in 1959, the Summit Bridge carries four lanes of traffic over the canal near the village by the same name. The crossing initially was to carry just two lanes of travel. However a Delaware politician lobbyed succesfully to have the bridge built with its current capacity. The cantileaver bridge carries U.S. 301 & Delaware 71-896 between Northern Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The northbound approach features a grade separation between the triplex and Chesapeake City Road. The Summit Bridge and nearby railroad lift bridge (built in 1966) were recognized by the American Institute of Steel Construction as the most beautiful bridges of their types in the years they were completed.2
The fifth bridge opened across the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is that of the Delaware 1 cable-stayed bridge of the SR 1 Turnpike system. The six-lane span features precast concrete segments and gold painted cables. Opened on December 23, 1995, the crossing has the capacity to be restriped to allow for eight overall travel lanes. The bridge parallels nearby U.S. 13 (St. Georges Bridge) to the west of the St. Georges villages. State officials named the span the U.S. Senator William V. Roth, Jr. Bridge on July 9, 2007.
The St. Georges Bridge carries U.S. 13 (Dupont Highway) over the split villages of St. Georges and the canal in central New Castle County. The four-lane steel arch bridge opened to traffic in 1942 and is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Enginners. A $10-million project refurbished the bridge with a new concrete deck and new non-lead based paint. The work was completed in 2002.
The easternmost bridge of the Canal crossings is that of the Reedy Point Bridge. The two-lane cantileaver span carries Delaware 9 (Delaware City Port Penn Road) between the town of Delaware City and marshy environs of the Delaware Riverfront between the canal and Port Penn. Underneath the northern portion of the bridge is Fort Dupont State Park. The 1968-opened Reedy Point Bridge and the Summit Bridge were completed as part of the 1954 improvement authorization for the Canal.2
Page Updated October 13, 2007