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.
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