Saturday, May 21, 2016



The Delaware River at Trenton runs across sharp rapids by name of Trenton Falls and below these rapids the Delaware runs into the tidewater section on it's way to Philadelphia and the ocean.  In the mid 1600's Trenton had two ferry crossings, the Upper Ferry and the Lower Ferry , both which traveled between Trenton, New Jersey and Morrisville, Pennsylvania, owned by James Trent. Later owners and operators, up into the 1770's there were Thomas Hooten, Robert Hooper and William Richards.
The first bridge to Trenton was at Lower Ferry, between Morrisville  on the Pennsylvania side.  This 1008 foot long wooden structure was open to traffic January 30, 1806 and cost $180,000. Theodore Burr, the foremost American bridge builder of that time, was the designer and builder.  The Trenton Bridge was owned by a private company whose president was John Beatty. This bridge had two 11 foot wide horse and wagon lanes and two 4 foot wide walking lanes, a total of 31 feet wide, it was covered by a cedar shingled roof with partially covered sides. The support abutments were designed to be high enough to avoid all known flood levels.
In 1842 this bridge became the first American bridge to be used by a railroad, and in 1848 was widened for the Philadelphia - Trenton Railroad.  The  use of this bridge by the railroad let to its demise and was torn down in 1875 and replaced by an iron bridge, known as the Lower Trenton 
Bridge which used the same support foundations.

Abstract from Bridges over the Delaware River by Frank T. Dale

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