Discover The Longest Bridge In Pennsylvania — A 13,912- Foot Monster

Written by Rob Amend
Updated: May 30, 2023
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As one of the oldest states in the United States, Pennsylvania has a well-developed infrastructure, which includes over 25,400 state-owned bridges. Naturally, in a state with that much history, Pennsylvania will have its share of long bridges. It just so happens that Pennsylvania’s longest bridge is also the fourth-longest cantilever bridge in the world.


The Commodore Barry Bridge is named after John Barry, a hero of the American Revolutionary War and resident of Philadelphia. A toll bridge connecting Chester, Pennsylvania, to Bridgeport, New Jersey, over the Delaware River, it was built to replace the Chester–Bridgeport Ferry which had been in operation since 1930. US Route 322 crosses the bridge, connecting US Route 13, PA Route 291, and Interstate 95 in Pennsylvania, with US Route 130 in New Jersey.

Construction began on April 14, 1969; traffic was first allowed to cross on February 1, 1974. Later that year, engineers detected vibrations causing flaws in some girders. They repaired girders. The addition of cables reinforced the bridge from strong winds over the river.

On February 2, 1978, a fire broke out underneath the Chester, PA, side of the bridge. The source was the Wade Dump, a tire recycling facility and illegal industrial waste disposal site. The bridge was shut down while firefighters attempted to control the flames. The fire caused 43 injuries among the first responders. Likewise, there were long-term health complications due to the toxins they encountered. The site was declared a Superfund site and was designated for cleanup. In the years since, the site has been declared safe and converted into a parking lot for Barry Bridge Park.

The bridge itself has undergone several road resurfacings, as well as the addition of ramps to increase access to Chester. From 2018 to 2022, the bridge underwent lead paint removal and additional road resurfacing.


The Commodore Barry Bridge is a cantilever bridge measuring 13,912 feet from one abutment to the other. Its center span is 1,644 feet, and the bridge carries five lanes of traffic. The bridge is divided by a zipper barrier. This machine can reconfigure barriers to adjust the number of lanes going in one direction to allow for shifting traffic patterns throughout the day.

Where Is The Commodore Barry Bridge Located On A Map?

The Commodore Barry Bridge spans the Delaware River and runs from Chester, Pennsylvania, to Bridgeport, New Jersey. Pennsylvania is located in the northeast region of the United States and is classified as a mid-Atlantic state. It is bordered by Lake Erie to the north, New York to the north and east, New Jersey to the east, Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, and Ohio to the west.

What Animals Can Be Found Around The Bridge?

There are over 1,700 animals in the Delaware County region. Native wildlife around the bridge includes the red fox, Virginia opossum, fox squirrel, wild turkey, cattle egret, purple martin, glossy pillar, and the click beetle.

Others include the striped skunk, white-tail deer, groundhog, American beaver, muskrat, American mink, North American porcupine, rock bass, largemouth bass, eastern red-backed salamander, American bullfrog, red-tailed hawk, great blue heron, common garter snake, common watersnake, and the common snapping turtle. Though the bridge is located in an urban area between Philadelphia and Wilmington, a network of parks, wildlife reserves, green spaces, and waterways provides space for these species to thrive.

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The colossal Commodore Barry Bridge Connects Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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About the Author

After 22 years as a reference and teen librarian, I am now a freelance writer and novelist based in Cincinnati. I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, photography, woodworking, listening to classic rock, and watching classic films--my favorite animal is a six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey.

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