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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Somers Point in Atlantic County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

World War Memorial Bridge across Great Egg Harbor Bay

Design and Significance

 
 
World War Memorial Bridge across Great Egg Harbor Bay Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, July 24, 2020
1. World War Memorial Bridge across Great Egg Harbor Bay Marker
Inscription.  
World War Memorial Bridge Design
The World War Memorial Bridge over Ship Channel was a 47-span vehicular bridge designed to carry two lanes of traffic in each direction. The bridge measured 1,442 feet long and 40.3 feet wide. As shown in figure 3, the main span of the bridge measured 50 feet in length and was a single-leaf trunnion bascule (i.e. a drawbridge with one counterbalanced moveable span). Among the most prominent features of the bridge were the twin operators' towers, which were hexagonal in shape and topped with copper roofs (Figures 4 and 6). The north tower (Figure 7) housed the bridge operator and control equipment, and the south tower housed the gate keeper and emergency power generation equipment. One of the operators' tower roofs has been salvaged and incorporated in the historical display at the Somers Point end of the bridge. Additional outstanding historic features of the World War Memorial Bridge that have been salvaged and installed at the Somers Point approach to the bridge are two concrete pylons containing dedicatory plaques and restored period style light fixtures that once stood at each end of the
World War Memorial Bridge across Great Egg Harbor Bay Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, July 24, 2020
2. World War Memorial Bridge across Great Egg Harbor Bay Marker
bridge.

Significance
With the proliferation of the automobile in the 1920s and the increase in Marine traffic resulting from the completion of the Intracoastal Waterway in 1915, a substantial crossing was needed between Somers Point and Ocean City. In 1933 the world War Memorial Bridge consisting of two bascule spans and an associated causeway was constructed. The World War Memorial Bridge over Ship Channel was the northernmost in a series of four bridges constructed in 1933 to carry State Route 52 across Great Egg Harbor Bay between Somers Point and Ocean City. The $4 million causeway crossed three islands and contained two fixed-span bridges and two identical moveable-span bridges. In 1935, an additional $42,000 was expended to construct a traffic circle at the Somers Point of the bridge. The bridge over Ship CHannel was significant as a well-preserved single-leaf bascule trunnion bridge, that operated as originally designed and retained its open reduction gears, rack-and-pinion drives, and built-up deck girder leaf. The bridge's designer, Ash Howard Needles & Tanmen, was nationally recognized for their moveable-span bridges and had secured a patent for an improved trunnion bridge with a fixed counterweight in 1927. The firm's designs were especially successful in coastal New Jersey where there are a high concentration of bascule bridges.
 
Erected
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2012 by New Jersey Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation; in cooperation with City of Ocean City and City of Somers Point; New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsRoads & VehiclesWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 39° 18.462′ N, 74° 35.926′ W. Marker is in Somers Point, New Jersey, in Atlantic County. Marker is on Stainton Memorial Causeway (New Jersey Route 52) 0.1 miles south of Mays Landing Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Somers Point NJ 08244, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. World War Memorial Bridge Across Great Egg Harbor Bay (here, next to this marker); World War Memorial Bridge (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named World War Memorial Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Bay Avenue Night Life (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Getting Around Somers Point (about 800 feet away); Somers Mansion (about 800 feet away); Transportation (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Anchorage (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Somers Point.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 26, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 26, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 26, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Feb. 26, 2021