This is an extremely unusual cantilever bridge because it is composed of many cantilever spans, with each span being very short for the cantilever type of bridge. In this manner, the bridge is similar to the Inner Belt Bridge in Cleveland. Although each main span looks the same in general, each span alternates between a pair of two anchor arms on one span to two cantilever arms and a suspended span on the next span. The suspended span sections can be identified by pin connections or hinges that occur at each end of the suspended span. The center truss span has a suspended span, as do two additional main spans.
The original railings on this bridge have been replaced with New Jersey barriers.
This bridge is noteworthy as a major bridge built with the assistance of Depression-era federal relief funds.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 16 span, 2,421' long, bridge has 5, 278'-long Pratt deck truss river spans. The outermost and middle river spans have suspended sections with pinned connections to facilitate construction. The 2 deck truss cantilevered end spans are about 164' long. There are 6 deck girder approach spans on the north side and 3 stringer approach spans on the south side. The trusses are composed of built up members, and the bridge has no innovative or distinctive details. The brackets for the cantilevered deck sections and safety shape barriers were placed in 1986. The bridge utilizes engineering principles known and used through the first four decades of the 20th century. The span lengths are short for the continuous-cantilever bridge type. Although large, the bridge is not historically or technologically significant. It was started in 1937 by the county but not completed until 1940.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The Highland Park bridge carries a 4 lane road over the Allegheny River, Conrail tracks on each side of the river, and local streets. The bridge connects with major highways on both sides of the river and is not related to or was part of the development of Highland Park. It is not part of any potential historic district.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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