Posts Tagged ‘dingman’s bridge’

Dingman’s Bridge: the last privately owned toll bridge in NJ




Dingman’s Bridge is a toll bridge across the Delaware River, located not far North of the route 80 crossing. It is the only privately owned toll bridge across the Delaware. That’s right, when you pay your 50c, it goes directly to the owner, no state DOT, no Park Commission, right to the owner.

Originally the site of a ferry (run for 100 years), the first bridge was built in 1836, and 11 years later floods washed it away. The ferry was run again until 1850 when a second bridge was built. It lasted 5 years before a windstorm knocked it into the river. The following year, a hastily (and poorly built) bridge was erected and it fell apart due to poor construction. Ferry service would begin again, and continue until 1900 when an iron bridge would be erected. With a history of problems, the current Dingman family is committed to (and probably required by law now) strict maintenance. There has never been a serious accident on the bridge, though there have been some scrapes from careless drivers.

Amazingly, the current toll of 50c is not much higher then when the first bridge opened, when the fare was a maximum of 25c for a horse drawn wagon, and 10c for a horse and rider, pedestrians were 2c.

It’s actually kind of cool, although driving over a bridge with boards and not pavement can be a tad unnerving.