Location Map

The Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Toll-Supported Bridge connects Bridge Street/NJ Route 12 in Frenchtown, Hunterdon County, N.J. with River Road/PA Route 32 in the Uhlerstown section of Tinicum Township, Bucks County, PA.

The bridge consists of 534 tons of steel. It is 950 feet, 10 inches long. The trusses are 19-feet, 6-inchess wide center to center.  The structure’s total width, including the cantilevered walkway, is 24-feet, 1-inch. (Note: The walkway’s clear walkable width is 3 feet, 9 inches.)

The supporting substructure consists of rubble stone-faced masonry built in 1842 and 1843 to support a prior wooden-covered private toll bridge that opened December 30, 1843.  Abutments are on spread footings. Piers are stone-filled on submerged timber foundations.  Reinforced pier caps were installed as part of the bridge’s 1931 construction project.  All bridge seats and the abutment backwalls are of reinforced concrete.

The bridge now has a 15-ton weight limit, a 12-foot, 6-inch height restriction, and a 15 MPH speed limit.  It carried an average of 4,200 vehicles per day in 2023. (The Bridge Commission’s average annual daily traffic counts can be viewed here: https://www.drjtbc.org/bridge-info/traffic-count/.)

Design and Construction

The current six-span riveted-steel Warren through-truss Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Bridge is the Commission’s ninth oldest superstructure and the agency’s northernmost six-span truss bridge. It opened to traffic on October 10, 1931, 28 years to the day that flood waters washed away two spans of a prior six-span wooden-covered bridge at this location.

The eight older superstructures in the Commission system are: Calhoun Street (1884), Northampton Street (1895-96), Riegelsville (April 1904), New Hope-Lambertville (July 1904), Riverton-Belvidere (September 1904), Washington Crossing (April 1905), Centre Bridge-Stockton (July 1927), and Lower Trenton (1928-29).

The bridge’s steel superstructure rests on abutments and piers originally are believed to have been constructed in 1842-43. The current steel bridge’s narrow width is probably attributable to the limited length of the underlying mid-19th-century piers and abutments.

The current steel truss superstructure was designed by Edwin W. Denzler, who later became the Commission’s chief engineer. It is one of five Commission truss bridges Denzler designed.  The others are at Centre Bridge-Stockton, Lower Trenton, Upper Black Eddy-Milford, and Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22), which was originally called the Bushkill Street Bridge.

The Uhlerstown-Frenchtown bridge was constructed by the former F.H. Clement & Co. of Bethlehem, PA.  The Great Depression-era project cost was $91,510.87.  The construction costs were covered by joint equal shares of tax revenues from the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


At that time of its 1931 construction, the river crossing was owned jointly by New Jersey and Pennsylvania but the bridge’s operation and maintenance was the responsibily of a former jgency called – the Joint Commission for Elimination of Toll Bridges — Pennsylvania-New Jersey. This former agency was eliminated and replaced by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) Dec. 28, 1934. The DRJTBC then assumed the former Joint Commission’s tax-supported management responsibilities for the bridge.

This arrangement of joint-states-ownership and DRJTBC control with state tax revenues continued until July 1, 1987, when ownership was conveyed outright to the DRJTBC. Under changes the two states and the federal government made to the DRJTBC’s Compact between 1984 and 1987, the DRJTBC now operates, maintains, and polices the bridge using a share of the tolls it annually collects at the agency’s eight toll bridges. Hence, the bridge’s full name today is the Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Toll-Supported Bridge.

More Info

The bridge originally had wooden roadway and walkway surfaces. In 1949, the bridge was outfitted with a 5-inch open-grate steel floor and a 2-inch concrete-filled steel-grid walkway. The open-grate steel roadway floor and concrete-filled walkway were replaced in 2001.

The bridge survived relatively unscathed during the Delaware River’s record-setting 1955 flood. The bridge’s river cresting was recorded at elevation 127.79 feet 2 a.m. August 20, 1955.  The height was 27 feet above the location’s normal low river level. The flooding forced the bridge out of service August 19 to August 22. Clean up and repairs of any damage was performed by Commission maintenance personnel.

A frame building on the bridge’s New Jersey serves as a shelter for bridge monitors, Commission security personnel whose primary function is to protect the facility from oversized vehicles. The Pennsylvania side has insufficient space for a bridge monitor shelter. Like other Commission bridges, the facility also is equipped with a variety of security cameras.

The bridge’s last rehabilitation was in 2001. The project entailed floor system replacement, new guide rail installation, new roadway lighting installation, paint removal, and repainting of the trusses and other structural steel components.  The work was intended to put the structure in a state of condition allowing it to avoid major repairs and travel impacts for at least 15 years.

Another rehabilitation is expected to be undertaken at the bridge in 2025. Design for this project is taking place in 2024.

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