100 Years Ago
From the Denton Journal (Denton, Maryland), Saturday, January 29, 1916:
View looking west of the first automobile bridge into Ocean City, dated 1938. At the time this picture was taken, plans were already well developed for the “new bridge” at North Division Street that opened in 1942. Ocean City Museum Society archives.
The importance of having a bridge across Sinepuxent Bay at Ocean City is known to every one who visits Maryland’s only seaside resort. Automobiles from Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, Wilmington and from almost every farm and town of the several counties of the Maryland, Virginia and Delaware peninsula during the summer rush with full speed to the bridge on the west side of the bay near Ocean City and are often detained from fifteen minutes to one-half an hour before the railroad track is made clear of trains.
This is especially true on special days like Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, when extra trains come in and thousands of people from the country come in vehicles and automobiles to spend the day. It is not uncommon for from 500 to 1,000 automobiles per day to pass over the road from Berlin to Ocean City, a distance of seven miles, the point where Virginia, Delaware and Maryland people come together.
The duPont road [present day US 113] is practically completed through Sussex county, Delaware, from the line of Delaware and Maryland at Selbyville to Georgetown, and will be ready for use in early spring. This road runs through a thickly populated section, and the people of Delaware will greatly appreciate the generous gift of T. Coleman duPont.
The next important improvement along the Atlantic coast for the benefit of the people of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware is the construction of nine miles of road from Berlin to the duPont road to connect the two great State highways that lead to Ocean City, Maryland. The bill asking for an appropriation for a bridge to reach Ocean City and a resolution asking for a survey to be made for the road from Berlin to duPont road introduced by Senator [Orlando] Harrison, chairman, “Roads and Highways” Committee, from Worcester county, are both important pieces of legislation and should be of highest interest to the people of Maryland, as well as those of Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania, Senator Harrison believes.
→ Curator’s note: Obviously, summer traffic congestion has been an issue for Ocean City visitors for more than a century! The Maryland General Assembly approved Senator Harrison’s bill, and road construction, including a new bridge over Herring Creek on the road between Berlin and Ocean City, got underway in early 1917. According to newspaper accounts, more than 10,000 people, including Maryland Governor Emerson C. Harrington, turned out on July 4, 1919 for the official opening of Ocean City’s first automobile bridge, which entered the town at Worcester Street.
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