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Lincoln Avenue Bridge

Lincoln Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 17, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Lincoln Avenue Over Washington Boulevard (PA-8)
Pittsburgh: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Stone Elliptical Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1906 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: Pittsburgh Department of Public Works

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
130 Feet (39.6 Meters)
Structure Length
300 Feet (91.4 Meters)
Roadway Width
34 Feet (10.36 Meters)
2 Main 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 bridge is a very large example of a stone arch bridge. It has good historic integrity and also includes ornamental railings. The high level bridge is a product of early attempts by the city to begin to connect sections of the city that were separated by the many deep valleys in the city. The bridge is a rare example of a large stone arch highway bridge. Most stone arch bridges of this size in the United States are railroad bridges. Speaking of which, the roadway of this bridge runs under a high level railroad bridge at the east end of the bridge. The main spans of this railroad bridge are stone arch spans also. As such this unique setting has the appearance of two large stone arch bridges meeting together at a right angle.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 2-span, 427'-long, stone arch bridge built in 1906 is laid up in ashlar masonry. In 1979, a concrete deck was placed, and the original decorative metal railings with a fleur-de-lis pattern reset in modern concrete parapets. Chain link fences and modern highway lighting were also added. The handsome stone arch bridge ranks as a long example of its type that is among the oldest surviving major ravine-crossing bridges in Pittsburgh. It represents the beginning efforts of the city government to improve Pittsburgh's roads by systematically spanning the many ravines that posed barriers to suburban expansion in the early 20th century. It was built to carry both highway and streetcar traffic serving residences in east Pittsburgh. The stone arch bridge is historically and technologically significant.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane street with 2 sidewalks over a 4 lane highway in a setting of 20th-century commercial and light industrial development. Crossing Lincoln Avenue on a steel thru girder and stone arch overpass at the bridge's east end is an active Conrail line, the former Pennsylvania RR's Brilliant branch line that connects the Main Line with industrial plants and boroughs across the Allegheny River, and provides a freight bypass around the city. The Lincoln Avenue bridge's abutment adjoins the pier of the stone arch railroad bridge.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Lincoln Avenue Bridge

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Maps and Links: Lincoln Avenue Bridge

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