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Brownsville Bridge

Old Brownsville Bridge

Brownsville Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 3, 2006, July 10, 2009, and July 20, 2019

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and Videos
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Key Facts

Location
Rural: Fayette County, Pennsylvania and Washington County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Metal 20 Panel Pin-Connected Pennsylvania Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Through Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1914 By Builder/Contractor: Fort Pitt Bridge Works of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1987
Main Span Length
520 Feet (159 Meters)
Structure Length
945 Feet (288 Meters)
Roadway Width
22.6 Feet (6.89 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 7 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
62206700100000

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View A Short Biography of Kennedy Crossan

View Additional Articles About Kennedy Crossan

This bridge has a 20 panel 519 foot pin-connected Pennsylvania truss main span.

The shear size of this bridge's main span reminds one of the 460 foot main span of the Blue Rock Road Bridge in Ohio, which was built in the same year as the Brownsville Bridge, 1914. Indeed the Brownsville Bridge's main span is 59 feet longer than Blue Rock's but both are equally impressive structures. This is also a rare case where the Ohio bridge is being demolished, but this Pennsylvania bridge is apparently not threatened... yet. Also as well as lengths are being discussed, this bridge makes an interesting comparison to the massive span of the Hulton Bridge which actually turns out to be the same as Blue Rock at a 460 foot main span. Perhaps the extensive sway bracing on the 1908 Hulton Bridge, which is three latticed "panels" tall instead of two as on the Brownsville Bridge, that gives the illusion of extra size on the Hulton Bridge.

The Brownsville Bridge is indeed historically significant for its span length, which was quite an achievement when it was built. The bridge is aesthetically noted for its impressive span as well, which is complimented by a complex Pennsylvania truss configuration, pinned connections, and extensive v-lacing and lattice. Be sure to read the data pages on the HAER entry for this bridge, which offer a good deal of technical background and history. In modern times, and in a somewhat tragic light, this bridge is significant as one of the last remaining large-span historic bridges remaining over the Ohio/Allegheny/Monongahela Rivers in Pennsylvania. The historic bridges of these waterways, despite their significance as priceless historic landmarks, have been systematically slaughtered by PennDOT. It is unclear what has kept this bridge safe to date.

Other large long-span truss bridges were once present on the Allegheny and Monongahela River in Pennsylvania, but most of these outside of Pittsburgh have either been demolished or are slated for demolition.

The substructure of the bridge was built by Crossan Construction Company of Philadelphia and Brownsville, Pennsylvania, a company created by Kennedy Crossan.


This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Brownsville Bridge

 
View Photo Gallery
2009 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos, taken 2009. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2009 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos, taken 2009. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2006 Bridge Photo-Documentation
A collection of overview and detail photos, taken 2006. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original Size photos and Mobile Optimized photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2019 Additional Unorganized Photos
Original / Full Size Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2019 Additional Unorganized Photos
Mobile Optimized Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Brownsville Bridge

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