Rather than preserve this impressive high level deck truss bridge it was instead sentenced to the dumpster to be replaced with a very ugly modern bridge. Even worse, it appears the county got around doing a Section 106 Review for this bridge by adhering to the Historic Bridge Inventory's insanely antiquated assessment of this bridge as non-historic. This bridge type, particularly those dating to before 1950, are both uncommon and historically significant. This bridge should have been considered National Register Eligible at the time of demolition. The bridge retained good historic integrity. The demolition of this bridge seriously calls into question the future of the greater Pittsburgh area's distinction as a destination for a unique collection of historic bridges. Increasingly there is a concern that preservation is limited to the bridges in the downtown Pittsburgh area over the big three rivers. However, many bridges outside of that area are also historic and worthy of preservation.
Above: Plans for replacement, which is so ugly it might induce vomiting!
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 641' long bridge consists of a 3-span continuous-cantilvered Pratt deck truss main span (2 @ 169', 1 @ 276') and 1 simply supported steel stringer approach span (1 @ 37'-3"). Span 2 over O'Connell Boulevard and Dooker Hollow is a 138' long, pin connected, suspended section between 69' long cantilevered sections. The substructure consists of concrete abutments and concrete columns with lateral bracing. The sidewalk railings have a fleur-de-lis pattern, a commonly period county design. Although a large bridge, it does not have any innovative or distinctive details, and it is typical of the long bridges that the county had been designing and constructing since the turn of the century. Neither the bridge nor its setting or context are historically or technologically significant. According to PennDOT District 11-0 personnel, the bridge was determined not eligible by PHMC in 1997.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 4 lane street and 2 sidwalks over a local street and a residential area in the Dookers Hollow section of North Braddock. O'Connell Avenue provides access to the historic J. Edgar Thompson steel works. The vernacular houses under the bridge are highly altered. There is mid-20th century residential development east of the bridge, and the west end is undeveloped.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
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