The Historic Bridge Inventory essentially scolds the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) for finding this bridge historic and eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. However, HistoricBridges.org agrees with the historic finding. Although the Historic Bridge Inventory comments that it lacks the feel of a 1930s highway, the Ohio River Boulevard actually does have the feeling of a 1930s highway in a very small area around the bridge. There is an old art deco styled building near the bridge and the county standard railing extends beyond the bridge alongside the roadway around the bridge. Further, the commemorative pylons marking the historical start/end of the Ohio River Boulevard remain in place next to the bridge. Finally, the bridge is essentially unaltered and retains original railings. All of these factors combined make this plate girder stand out among the many remaining such structures in Pennsylvania.
The future of this bridge is uncertain. The bridge may be demolished or rehabilitated.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 1930, skewed, single span, built up thru girder bridge is supported on ashlar abutments. It has county standard design steel railings with Moderne details. The undistinguished bridge is a late example of a very common bridge type that was used with great frequency on Pennsylvania highways beginning in the last quarter of the 19th century. The bridge, built to a standard county design, has no distinctive details. Nor is Ohio River Boulevard a potential historic district. It has lost integrity because of the construction of late 20th strip commercial development along its route. It no longer has the feeling or association of a 1930s highway. The bridge was apparently determined eligible as a result of the Section 106 consultation process. It is the only bridge on SR 65 in Emsworth Borough, so it appears be the Co. Bridge #2 in Emsworth. No bridge type or feature crossed was identified in as part of PHMC's determination.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 4 lane highway with sidewalks over a stream. The highway, Ohio River Boulevard, was built in the late 1920s and early 1930s to connect Pittsburgh and its suburbs along that river. Now dominated by late 20th century commercial strip development, including an auto repair shop at the southwest quadrant and a converted gas station at the northeast quadrant, the road does not have historic district potential.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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