This bridge is a large example of a bridge that represents very well what truss bridges of the mid-20th Century looked like. The presence of members and chords that feature built-up members including plate steel with holes highlights the key visual difference with bridges that were built in this area, as this stronger, albeit less attractive form of built-up beam became popular. Regardless, the Fleming Park Bridge remains an attractive structure largely due to its size, as it is of decent length, but is also quite wide, making it an impressive structure to view.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 5-span, 807'-long bridge built in 1955 consists of a 361'-long, rivet-connected steel Warren thru truss with a polygonal top chord and four deck girder approach spans. The southernmost deck girder span is continuous over the pier and cantilevers out with a seat for the bearing of the adjacent span. The bridge was damaged in a truck fire in 1981, and repairs included the bolting of plates to a number of weakened truss members. A new deck, sidewalk, safety-shape parapets, and median barrier were installed. The bridge is a large but late example of the rivet-connected Warren thru truss type and design that were developed in the last half of the 19th century, and common on the state's highways by 1905. It has no unusual or distinctive details. It is not historically or technologically distinguished by its setting or context.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries 4 lanes of median divided traffic over Pittsburgh & Lake Erie RR tracks and the back channel of the Ohio River between Stowe Township and Neville Island. The setting is a scattered mix of late-19th to late-20th-century industrial and residential development that does not have the cohesiveness or integrity of a potential historic district.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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