This display explores the historical context and construction of the current Indian River Inlet Bridge, a sleek steel and concrete structure that was completed in January 2012. In a larger sense, however, the display illustrates the epic battle between man and the monumental power of the Atlantic Ocean. Since the initial dredging of the Indian River Inlet by the Army Corps of Engineers in the early 20th century, engineers have struggled to build structures that can withstand the violent forces of wind, water, and shifting sands that can be found along this section of Delaware's coastline.
The first bridge across the Indian River Inlet was built in 1934, followed by a succession of spans that were constructed in 1938, 1955, and 1965. All were eventually undermined by the relentless power of the sea. The design of the current bridge, which was begun in 2008, takes into account the lessons of past Indian River Inlet spans, as well as the latest engineering innovations, to create a structure of strength, endurance, and beauty that will last for years to come.