Trenton Historical Society “100 years” Lecture Series


“Delaware River Bridges”

Friday March 22, 2019 at 5:30p.m.

Thomas Edison State University

Prudence Hall

111 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey


The Trenton Historical Society, as part of its centennial celebration, will host a free public lecture about the bridges spanning the Delaware River at Trenton.  Speaker Joe Donnelly, of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, will discuss the history of bridges in Mercer County with a focus on Trenton’s Delaware River bridges, illustrated with historic photographs, news items, documents and maps.

Trenton was the location of the first bridge to span the river (1806), the first to carry a railroad between the two states (1830s) and the first bridge to be publicly owned without a toll (1910).

Mercer County is the location of the narrowest vehicular bridge, the oldest bridge and the only wrought iron bridge between the two states.  Next year, the county will host the river’s newest bridge when the first completed span of the Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge opens to traffic.

The history of the area’s river bridges includes early wooden structures, floods, fires, private stock companies, railroad barons, a trolley line, a free-bridges movement, a mystery bridge and a river crossing that ceased to exist 60 years ago.

Donnelly was appointed the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission’s Deputy Executive Director of Communications in February, 2008.  He previously handled communications in the New Jersey General Assembly and worked as a reporter for The Record.  A Lambertville resident, he has researched the history of his agency’s 20 bridges, some of which rank among the oldest and most unique interstate crossings in the nation.

On Street Parking available on West State St. as well as on Barrack St.

Guard will direct attendees to Prudence Hall