The town was separated into north and south sections when the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal was built through the middle of the town. The two were connected by a drawbridge until 1942 when that was destroyed by a freighter that struck it. The current bridge opened in 1949.
The new bridge had to be tall enough to allow supertankers to pass beneath it, resulting in a structure so high and long that cars no longer went into the city to cross the canal. Business declined for decades thereafter.
It is the location of Old Lock Pump House, Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. The South Chesapeake City Historic District was listed in 1974