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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