No, that’s not a scene from an early Cruisin weekend — it’s the original “State Roads Bridge,” a narrow two-lane span built to handle Ocean City’s automotive traffic in 1916.
The bridge entered town at Worcester Street and was just a block north of the railroad’s trestle bridge that spanned the Sinepuxent Bay from the mainland to South Division Street. Prior to 1916, the few cars that visited Ocean City had paid a five-cent toll to cross the railroad bridge on wooden planks.
The 1933 hurricane that created the Inlet destroyed the railroad bridge, isolating Ocean City for several days. Hastily repaired, the State Roads Bridge continued as the auto route into Ocean City until replaced by the four-lane Route 50 drawbridge (known today as the Harry Kelley Memorial Bridge) in 1942. The photo here is circa 1938.
Photo courtesy of Bunk Mann collection