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Highland Park Bridge

Highland Park Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 17, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
PA-1005 Over Allegheny River, PA-8, Railroad (Norfolk Southern)
Pittsburgh: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Metal Cantilever 12 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Deck Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1940 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
278 Feet (84.7 Meters)
Structure Length
2,423 Feet (738.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
56 Feet (17.07 Meters)
7 Main Span(s) and 9 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

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


Photo Galleries and Videos: Highland Park Bridge

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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Maps and Links: Highland Park Bridge

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