This is an outstanding, unaltered example of a mid 20th century cantilever truss bridge. Due to the staggering loss of older and more historic bridges over this river, this bridge, which once might have been beneath notice, is an increasingly rare and interesting example of a riveted truss bridge over a large river. The full name of the bridge is the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge, named after William D. Mansfield, who served as an Allegheny County Commissioner and later as a State Senator. Reportedly, this bridge was under construction by 1948 and was made from steel specifically sourced from the melted scrap of the Wabash Bridge.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 13-span bridge has a 3-span, continuous thru truss main span with a suspended section (200'-500'-200') and 10 simple, built up deck grider approach spans. It was built in 1951, and it is supported on a concrete substructure. The cantilevered sidewalks are finished with standard-design metal railings. The main truss member are built up. Although a major river crossing, the large bridge has no innovative or distinctive details and is one of several similar cantilevered thru truss bridges design and built by the county after World War II. It utilizes engineering principles known and used since the late 1920s. Neither the bridge nor its setting/contexts are historically or technologically significant. The bridge is not historic in association with either of the railroads that it crosses.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a barrier-divided, 4-lane road over the river, local streets, and railroads on both riverbanks. Conrail is on the west bank, and P & LE RR is on the east side of the river. The bridge links Dravosburg and McKeesport.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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