Governor Ed Rendell joined local officials Saturday in opening a new DeKalb Street Bridge over the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks in Bridgeport. He said the old one stood there for 80 years, and it had to be replaced.
“It was built by the Reading Railroad in 1927. We had to close this bridge for almost two years – 21 months. The old bridge was in critical condition and had a sufficiency rating of 3 out of 100, the lowest in the entire region. This was the bridge that was in the worst shape in the entire region. It presented a clear and present danger and it had to be closed. It had to be totally re-done.”
Rendell said the new bridge will carry more than 28,000 vehicles a day, and it restores a vital traffic link between Bridgeport and Norristown that will benefit businesses in the two boroughs for many years to come. The $8.4 million span has two lanes in each direction, new signals at each end and a shoulder that will eventually accommodate a Chester Valley Trail extension. The 1924 Reo pictured below was the first vehicle to cross the bridge after its official opening.