Near Dewey Beach in Sussex County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Indian River Inlet and Bridge
Nature vs. Technology
The Indian River Inlet has not always existed in its current location. This barrier beach environment is dynamic, and the opening to the inlet has opened and closed at different locations.
When the inlet closed, navigation, water quality, mosquito control and the fishing industry all suffered. In November of 1929, dynamite was used to open up the inlet which was later dredged to keep it open to navigation.
In 1934, a simple wooden bridge over the inlet completed the construction of Ocean Highway, which is now State Route 1. By the late 1930s, jetties were constructed to stabilize the inlet.
In 1938, a concrete and steel swing bridge replaced the deteriorating wooden design. In 1940, the bridge was named for Charles W. Cullen, Chairman of Commissioners for the State Highway Commission.
In 1962, a steel-girder bridge, supported by concrete piers replaced the swing bridge. Over time, the currents through the inlet scoured the channel and threatened the future stability of the bridge. The current bridge, completed in 2012, spans the entire inlet and is expected to last more than 100 years.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals • Bridges & Viaducts • Natural Features • Natural Resources • Roads & Vehicles • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Delaware State Parks series list. A significant historical month for this entry is November 1929.
Location. 38° 36.545′ N, 75° 3.865′ W. Marker is near Dewey Beach, Delaware, in Sussex County. Marker can be reached from Inlet Road, 0.6 miles south of Coastal Highway (Delaware Route 1), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rehoboth Beach DE 19971, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Charles W. Cullen Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Sand Bypass System (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); United States Life-Saving Service (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Sand Bypass System (about 800 feet away); a different marker also named Indian River Inlet and Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Catching Waves (approx. 0.2 miles away); Shipwreck of the Faithful Steward (approx. 1.3 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dewey Beach.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. An identical marker stands on the
Credits. This page was last revised on September 18, 2022. It was originally submitted on May 17, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 165 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 17, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.