RARITAN, NJ – Anyone who travels the Garden State Parkway knows the familiar site of the Driscoll Bridge, one of the world’s largest and oddest bridges. The bridge is actually a group of several bridge structures acting as one that crosses the Raritan River, essentially connecting North Jersey to the Jersey Shore.
The bridge is also referred to by many at the Jersey Shore as Benny Hill. No, not because of the British comedy of the same name, but because it is path taken by North Jersey “Bennies” on their way to the Jersey Shore.
New Jersey’s Driscoll Bridge, officially known as the Edison Bridge, has become a prominent symbol of the state’s transportation infrastructure.
However, there’s an interesting colloquial nickname associated with this iconic bridge. Affectionately referred to as “Benny Hill” by some locals, this name holds a unique connection to the bridge’s role in the journey of beachgoers affectionately known as “Bennys.”
Stretching across the Raritan River, the Driscoll Bridge serves as a critical link between Woodbridge Township and Sayreville, providing a crucial transportation route for thousands of daily commuters and travelers. Its significance as a connection point cannot be overstated, especially during the summer months when visitors flock to the Jersey Shore each summer, usually packed bumper to bumper with slow moving traffic during the weekends.
The term “Benny” has been used by locals to describe tourists and day-trippers who journey from nearby metropolitan areas, particularly New York and northern New Jersey, to enjoy the sun, sand, and vibrant atmosphere of the Jersey Shore. Over time, the term has evolved, often with a sense of affection and humor.
The nickname “Benny Hill” for the Driscoll Bridge originates from the route that many Bennys take to reach the Jersey Shore. As they embark on their beach-bound adventures, this crucial bridge serves as a gateway to their much-anticipated destination. The whimsical moniker “Benny Hill” emerges as a playful nod to this particular route and the lively atmosphere that awaits visitors on the other side.
It is essential to understand that this nickname is used in a light-hearted manner and represents a bond between locals and the influx of visitors who contribute to the area’s economic growth and cultural diversity.