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Liberty Bridge

Liberty Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 10, 2009

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Crosstown Boulevard (Liberty Avenue) Over Monongahela River
Pittsburgh: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Metal Cantilever 18 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Deck Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 10 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Deck Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1928 By Builder/Contractor: Independent Bridge Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
450 Feet (137.2 Meters)
Structure Length
2,663 Feet (811.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
56 Feet (17.07 Meters)
4 Main Span(s) and 12 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

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

HAER Data Pages, PDF

This is an impressive, large deck truss structure. It consists of two main cantilever spans and the bridge has sixteen total spans. Its aesthetic qualities arise from its cantilever design and extensive v-lacing and lattice on is members, nearly all of which are built-up.

The bridge was important in the development of Pittsburgh, along with the bridge's obstacle-eliminating companion, the Liberty Tunnels, since it connected important parts of the city.

This bridge once was even more impressive than it is today, having once had ornate railings and piers that originally continued their design to up above the roadway to form decorative pillars. These alteration arose out of a 1983 project to widen the bridge beyond its original 38 foot configuration by cantilevering out the deck. This project makes the reason for removing the pier extension obvious, but why the original railings were not simply reused on the new sidewalk remains unclear, since the pedestrian railings are separate of the vehicular barriers and need not be crash-resistant. These alterations were severe, but do not significantly diminish the importance of this bridge and its continued preservation, given the large bridge engineering significance of the structure, its contribution as a member of the large group of magnificent historic bridges in downtown Pittsburgh, and numerous remaining aesthetic qualities of the bridge.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Liberty Bridge

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: Liberty Bridge

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