Delaware Memorial Bridge Celebrates Special Anniversary

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NEW CASTLE, DE -

Delaware and New Jersey officials, along with representatives with the Delaware River and Bay Authority, gathered Wednesday, September 12th, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the grand opening of the second span of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

"In order to be able to accomplish that at that time period is really a remarkable event and to celebrate 50 years, it certainly puts a smile on everyone's face," said Thomas Cook, the executive director of the Delaware River and Bay Authority.

"I've only actually been here for three years, so to see this and be a part of this is actually amazing," said Silvana Dominioni, director of environmental health and safety at the Delaware River and Bay Authority. 

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Seventeen years after the first span was built, a four-lane southbound bridge was added making the Delaware Memorial Bridge the longest twin suspension bridge in the world in 1968.

"It connects the two states and really is a corridor for the northeast," said Cook.

About 90,000 people travel across the Delaware Memorial Bridge every single day — in and out of New Jersey — and today was a chance to celebrate the people that made that possible.

"We have about 34 million vehicles travel across the two spans each year so this is really an amazing day that really celebrates what transportation is all about," said Dominioni.

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Members of the New Jersey Car Club were invited to be a part of a parade across the bridge re-enacting when cars first cruised across the twin span for the first time half a century ago.

"We did the parade group ... that was very nice," said Steve Brown, a driver in the parade. "It's so nice to commemorate people that put their lives at stake doing what they did. It was an honor to do it." 

A wreath was dropped from the bridge's midway point in honor of the lives lost during construction years ago.

"The one thing they've made sure is ... everything is about honoring anyone who was a part of this bridge and this community who has passed on," said Dominioni.

Officials report that today, more vehicles travel across the bridge in one hour, than in an entire day back in 1951.

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