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Wharf to Cricket Hill. Later, a state-owned and operated ferry took over until a bridge over Milford Haven Inlet was built 1939.


At 729 feet long with a 204 foot moveable swing span, this bridge carries an average of 2,400 vehicles a day and opens to marine traffic more than any other moveable bridge in Virginia. Opening and closing takes six to ten minutes, depending on the size and speed of the vessel passing through its eighty foot opening.


Eltham Bridge


For those who relied on the Eltham Bridge prior to 2007, frustration and impatience was par for the course. Vehicular traffic over the Pamunkey River, linking New Kent County and the town of West Point, often experienced long delays during openings. Countless barge traffic, destined for the paper mill upriver, required the bridge to open several times a day. Once a barge was sighted at the point where the York and Pamunkey rivers converge, the bridge would open regardless of the ves- sel’s speed. It often took a quarter hour or more for the barge to reach the bridge and one could snatch a nap while waiting. With an average of 19,000 vehicles daily, any opening created miles-long backups.


The first two-lane wooden Bruce Bridge was built in 1926,


replacing ferry service across the river. Residents remember the nail-biting trip across as laden log trucks thundered by in the opposite and extremely narrow lane. The old span was replaced in 1957 but, over the years, time and exposure to the elements


Eltham bridge tender house. Photo courtesy of VDOT.


The House & Home Magazine


37


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