12. Bridgeboro Bridge
In 1740, a new road was constructed to connect Burlington and Copper’s Ferry (Camden Town). The road necessitated a new ferry across the Rancocas Creek. John Buzby operated the ferry in 1749 from his property in Willingboro to a site owned by James Sherman in Chester Township (Bridgeboro). It cost 3 pennies for a man on a horse to cross the Rancocas Creek by ferry. While the ferry was in operation two taverns hosted weary travelers. One was operated by William Allen and the other by Thomas Gill and later John Taylor and John Earl.
A private company erected the first bridge in 1793 to replace the ferry that had operated at this location since 1748, the year that the Colonial Assembly first authorized a road between Burlington and the ferries operating to Philadelphia in what, today, is Camden. ￼In 1819 the bridge was operated by the Rancocas Toll Bridge Company. The old covered bridge at Bridgeboro was tended by a bridge keeper. A Coach-horn would be sounded as the coach neared the bridge or rumbled into the old Tavern nearby to take on passengers or change horses. The bridge connected Burlington Pike which was a dirt toll road. Written on the face of the Bridge’s A-Frame: “$5.00 fine for traveling over this bridge at a faster gait than a walk”.
The State Legislature allowed Burlington County to assume control of the bridge and, during the 1820s. In 1838, the county built a new span to replace the badly decayed toll bridge. The uncovered center portion of the bridge rotated to allow riverine traffic to pass up and down the Rancocas Creek. This was the third bridge to occupy the creek crossing here.
In December 1891, workmen installed a new iron swing-span in the center, which rotated to allow riverine traffic to pass through the bridge. The covered portion of the bridge on the Willingboro side suffered a catastrophic fire in early July 1917, creating havoc for teamsters and motorists. The Burlington County Freeholders rebuilt that end of the bridge and traffic soon began moving again between Camden and Burlington across the old covered bridge. In 1927, the New Jersey State Highway Department began building a new single-leaf bascule bridge to replace the old covered bridge. The new bridge opened for traffic in September 1928 and this span remained in service until the State of New Jersey completed the present bridge.
In 1983, a new $20.5 million bridge was built carrying Route 130 over the Rancocas Creek with approaches and an interchange at Bridgeboro Street. The improvements included six 12 foot travel lanes, two 12 foot shoulders, an 8 foot median and one 6 foot sidewalk area. The new multi-string steel bridge replaced the narrow substandard four lane, 360 foot long lift bridge. The new bridge removed a dangerous curve that was the site of a high number of accidents. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony occurred on August 19, 1985 by Governor Thomas Kean. Richard J.Knight attended as the Mayor of Delran Township along with James Ayrer, Mayor of Willingboro and William Ryan, Mayor of Delanco.