The bridge carrying what was then known as Ocean Highway (presently known as County Road 621, or Ocean Drive) over Middle Thorofare was constructed as part of the largest New Deal construction effort in Cape May County, New Jersey. The bridge is still in use today.
“In 1934 the county government created the Cape May County Bridge Commission as a means to apply for Federal Emergency Administration Funds to build bridges on the Ocean Highway and to bring to completion the promotional tourist route from Atlantic City to Cape May. The Ocean Highway bridges, five movable spans and two fixed spans, were the largest New Deal public works project in Cape May County, employing from 350 to 500 local men.”
“Ocean Highway bridge construction began in 1939 and four of the movable bridges were completed in 1940 (3100003, Ocean Highway over Townsends Inlet, Avalon Borough; 0500028, Ocean Highway over Great Channel, Stone Harbor Borough; 3100005, Ocean Highway over Grassy Sound, Middle Township; and 3100006, Ocean Highway over Middle Thorofare, Lower Township). A fifth bridge over Corsons Inlet (3100002, Upper Township) was not completed until 1947-48. The bridges were all similarly designed with single-leaf, haunched deck girder, trunnion bascule main spans, deck girder and T-beam approach spans, Moderne style operators’ houses, safety sidewalks with metal railings, look-out benches, and toll booths at the center of the bridge adjacent to the movable leaf.”
The New Jersey Historic Bridge Survey: https://www.state.nj.us/transportation/works/environment/pdf/Survey_Doc.pdf (pages 127-8)
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on January 9, 2015.
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