Pennsylvania is home to a variety of landscapes, including the Delaware River and the Appalachian Mountains, as well as a large number of bridges, some of which are remarkably tall and long. The seven longest bridges in the state, ordered by total length, will be discussed in this article.
1. Commodore Barry Bridge 13,912 Feet
The Delaware River is crossed by the Commodore Barry Bridge, which connects Chester, Pennsylvania, with Bridgeport, New Jersey. It is the longest cantilever bridge in Pennsylvania and the fourth longest worldwide. The bridge opened in 1974 and was named for John Barry, an Irish County Wexford naval hero of the American Revolution. Requiring four lanes of traffic in each direction, it is an essential component of the Interstate 95 corridor that links New York City and Philadelphia.
2. Walt Whitman Bridge 11,981 Feet
The Walt Whitman Bridge spans the Delaware River between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Gloucester City, New Jersey. It is the second-longest bridge in Pennsylvania and the longest suspension bridge in the state. The bridge opened in 1957 and bears the name Walt Whitman, the well-known poet and journalist. Featuring seven lanes for traffic, including three reversible lanes, it is an essential part of the Interstate 76 corridor that connects Atlantic City and Philadelphia.
3. George Platt Memorial Bridge 8,780 Feet
Connecting Southwest and South Philadelphia, the George Platt Memorial Bridge spans the Schuylkill River and is the third-longest bridge in Pennsylvania and the longest steel arch bridge in the state. The bridge opened in 1951 and was named in memory of George Platt, a firefighter who died in 1963. It is a section of the Interstate 95 corridor that connects Wilmington with Philadelphia. There are two lanes of traffic on it in each direction.
4. Betsy Ross Bridge 8,485 Feet
Pennsauken, New Jersey, and Northeast Philadelphia are connected by the Betsy Ross Bridge, which spans the Delaware River and is ranked as the second-longest steel arch bridge in the state and the fourth longest bridge in Pennsylvania. The bridge opened in 1976 and was named for Betsy Ross, the seamstress who is credited with designing the first American flag. Part of the Interstate 95 corridor that connects Trenton and Philadelphia, it has three lanes of traffic going in each direction.
5. Benjamin Franklin Bridge 7,485 Feet
The Delaware River is crossed by the fifth-longest suspension bridge in Pennsylvania, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which connects Center City Philadelphia with Camden, New Jersey. The bridge opened in 1926 and was named for Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers. It links southern New Jersey and Philadelphia with seven traffic lanes, four of which are reversible, and two PATCO Speedline tracks.
6. Delaware River Turnpike Bridge 6,751 Feet
The Delaware River Turnpike Bridge connects Bristol Township, Pennsylvania, and Burlington Township, New Jersey. It is the longest concrete arch bridge in the state and the sixth longest bridge in Pennsylvania. This 1956-opened bridge, which is a segment of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the New Jersey Turnpike, allows four lanes of traffic in each direction and is essential to the Interstate 95 corridor that connects Philadelphia and Newark.
7. Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge 6,657 Feet
The Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge spans the Susquehanna River and connects the Pennsylvanian cities of Columbia and Wrightsville. It is the seventh-longest bridge in the state and the longest concrete arch bridge. When it first opened in 1930, the bridge—originally known as the Lancaster-York Intercounty Bridge—carried two lanes of traffic in each direction. It is also a portion of Pennsylvania Route 462—a picturesque path that traces the Susquehanna River.
In addition to being outstanding examples of technical feats, Pennsylvania’s top seven longest bridges are also important transportation hubs and historical sites that represent the state’s and its residents’ rich cultural and historical heritage. These bridges’ historical significance and beauty are sure to be appreciated by all who cross or explore them.