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Boston Bridge


Boston Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 12, 2009
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Walnut Street (PA-48 - Orange Beltway) Over Youghiogheny River
Versailles: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Structure Type
Metal Cantilever 18 Panel Rivet-Connected Warren Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1931 By Builder/Contractor: Fort Pitt Bridge Works of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
420 Feet (128 Meters)
Structure Length
1182 Feet (360.3 Meters)
Roadway Width
29.5 Feet (9 Meters)
3 Main Span(s) and 5 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This impressive bridge which is considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, is a striking and impressive cantilever bridge that is very unlike most cantilever bridges encountered. The bridge was designed to look highly attractive, and as such the sway bracing on this bridge is designed as unusual large arch shapes, and the top chord of the cantilever is carefully designed especially between the towers to have a very smooth curved appearance to the bridge. The curve is designed so that the top chord sweeps far lower that in most cantilever bridges, which is only possible because the bridge has sway bracing only in the vicinity of the towers, yet another unusual feature of this bridge. The bridge is a cantilever bridge, and two hinges at the bottom chord define a six panel suspended span at the center of the bridge, although visually this is almost impossible to see with a casual view. The bridge's diagonal and vertical members are all rolled beams, and the top chord is a built-up box beam with lattice on the bottom, which is the only place in which lattice occurs on the bridge. No v-lacing is present. At least some and perhaps all the steel on the bridge was fabricated by Carnegie.

Original pedestrian railings remain on the bridge, and low profile New Jersey barriers were added to protect the trusses from vehicular traffic.

The bridge is historically and technologically significant as a unusual execution of the cantilever truss bridge type, and for retaining a good degree of historic integrity.

This highly attractive bridge is a very important bridge among Allegheny County's vast collection of historic bridges. Its preservation is essential.



Photos and Videos: Boston Bridge

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