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1948 1 of 2


By an act of the General Assembly a commission to provide for the building of a bridge over the Brandywine Creek in the City of Wilmington was created in March 1919. This commission was known as the Washington Street Bridge Commission.

The Commission consisted of Alfred I. duPont, Benjamin F. Shaw, John S. Russell, Isaac C. Elliott, and Albert Stetser, and the term of office continued until the completion of their designated duties. If a vacancy occurred in the Commission by reason of death or resignation, the remaining members were to appoint another member, from the residents of New Castle County.

The Commission had full authority to acquire land for New Castle County as well as purchase materials and enter into contracts as they deemed necessary.

If property owners refused entry onto their land, any judge of the Superior Court, upon application of the Commission, could issue an order directing five impartial freeholders of the county to view the premises and assess the damages the owners would incur from the taking of land for the purpose of building the bridge.

The freeholders were to give not less than five days notice of a pending visit, in writing, to the property owners in charge of the premises and to the Chairman of the Commission informing them of the time they would meet on the property to assess the damages and make return of their findings as directed by the Commission. The Judge could set aside any return which resulted in gross inequality or inequity.

If the owners of the land could not be found, a notice was to be published in a newspaper in the county at least five days prior to the time of the meeting.

The expenses for the assessment of damages was to be paid by the Levy Court. When the damages to any owners had been fixed, the Levy Court, upon paying for the damages, would become entitled to have, use and enjoy the lands for the purpose required.

In the event that the owners of any land needed for building the bridge were minors, non-residents, or for some reason unable to receive the damages, the Levy Court would deposit the damages to the credit of the owners in the Farmer’s Bank of the State of Delaware, subject to the order of the owners.

The Levy Court of New Castle County was empowered to borrow a sum, not exceeding five hundred fifty thousand dollars ($550,000), to be used in the erection, construction, and completion of the bridge and its approaches, and to secure the payment of the sums, bonds were issued in denominations of one thousand dollars (1,000.00) each.

1948 2 of 2


1 30 DL, ch. 99, 1919.

clf/June 2, 1988; July 26, 1988; January 5, 1989