Last week, I unexpectedly found myself driving across the Washington Crossing Bridge. Once I got over the initial shock of finding myself driving on such a small bridge, I was struck by the parallels with other bridges I’ve encountered.
There was an immediate sense of deja vu having stumbled upon and walked across a similarly old and narrow bridge in 2017. The Market Street Bridge, Steubenville, bridges the Ohio River to connect Ohio and Pennsylvania; while the Washington Crossing Bridge bridges the Delaware River to connect New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Relying solely on my memory, I thought these two bridges were of the same design. However, looking back at my pictures, Market Street Bridge appears to be a hybrid suspension-truss bridge with the trusses painted yellow. The Washington Crossing Bridge is solely a truss bridge, with blue trusses. This leaves me with an unresolved sense of deja vu of having encountered a blue truss bridge of similar design somewhere once before.
The second parallel appeared when I stopped on the Pennsylvania side to figure out where I was and take more pictures of the bridge. A historic park made it easy to learn that this bridge and its surroundings were known as Washington Crossing. While I have a vague recollection of the story of Washington crossing the Delaware under the noses of the British Army, living in Pittsburgh, that crossing is eclipsed by his earlier crossing of the Allegheny River, when he fell in and had to spend the night on an island in the river before continuing on his mission on behalf of the British. The Allegheny River crossing is memorialized by the 40th Street Bridge‘s alternative name, Washington Crossing’s Bridge.