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Margate/Downbeach Express Bridge


Beach Thorofare Bridge

Margate NJ

Photo taken by Douglas Butler in April 2013


BH Photo #292129


Street Views 


From owning company's website:

The Margate Bridge was built in 1929 by Ole Hansen and his crew while in the employ of F. W. Schwiers & Company. The owner maintained the bridge for many years until it faced financial difficulties. In 1963, the Hansen family, together with another local family, the Capaldi's, formed the Margate Bridge Company and purchased the approximately two-mile causeway and four bridges from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The causeway, consisting of three fixed spans and one double-leaf operable span, was constructed to allow automobile traffic to travel across Beach Thoroughfare.

The bridge is managed by Ole Hansen & Sons, Inc. (OHS). A full-time crew employed by OHS handles all maintenance and repairs. The multi-span toll bridge system—known as the Downbeach Express—is part of the Intracoastal Waterway System that offers boaters ocean-free travel between the Canadian border and Florida. The bridge connecting the towns of Margate and Northfield is one of only three privately owned toll bridges in the State of New Jersey.

In 2003, the company installed a new toll collection system that used a pre-paid automated toll card. The technically advanced Quick Toll Card (QTC) greatly improved the convenience and efficiency of the bridge for its patrons.

In 2012, the company re-branded the Margate Bridge as Downbeach Express and installed a new toll system that provides better convenience, better efficiency and better savings to its customers.


Bascule bridge over Beach Thorofare on Margate Blvd. (CR 563) in Margate City
Margate City, Atlantic County, New Jersey
Open to traffic
Built 1929; rehabilitated 1985
- Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Co. of Chicago, Illinois
Length of largest span: 80.1 ft.
Total length: 554.2 ft.
Deck width: 27.9 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Beach Thorofare Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.33768, -74.51406   (decimal degrees)
39°20'16" N, 74°30'51" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/541877/4354362 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Ocean City
Average daily traffic (as of 2016)
Inventory numbers
NJ 4700001 (New Jersey bridge number)
BH 25043 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of March 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 35 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • May 10, 2020: Updated by Nick Boppel: Added category "Intracoastal Waterway"
  • November 19, 2018: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Corrected ownership and added history
  • September 15, 2016: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • November 30, 2015: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • August 24, 2014: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • November 15, 2011: New Street View added by Nathan Holth