This former Pennsylvania Railroad overpass is noted for its concrete encased girder design and its location right at an intersection, making it an extremely wide bridge. The roadway width in the inventory is listed as 36 feet, but the furthest distance between the two girders, at the southernmost point along the Brighton Road section and the westernmost North Avenue section is estimated at 268 feet.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 1929, skewed, single span, 88'-long, encased steel thru girder bridge is supported on concrete abutments that form part of a retaining wall for the depressed section rail line. The encased built-up girders support floorbeams and a concrete deck. The bridge is an example of a very common bridge type in widespread use for railroad and highway applications since the late 19th century. Although the bridge has no individually noteworthy features or details, it is significant in association with the PHMC-determined eligible PRR Fort Wayne Division line. The bridge is a PRR-built grade crossing improvement designed to replace a previous metal truss bridge at this location. It was built during the line's period of significance and it is historically associated with the line's development.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries the intersection of a 2 lane road (North Ave.) and a 4 lane road (Brighton Ave.) over 4 active Conrail lines in Pittsburgh's North Side. The skewed bridge is wider at its north end than at its south end to accommodate the intersection. At one quadrant is a modern high-rise apartment building, and at two other quadrants are mid 20th century commercial buildings. To the southwest is a municipal park with playground. The rail line is the former PRR Fort Wayne Division line, the main route westward from Pittsburgh to Chicago with branches to Detroit, Cleveland, and Toledo. This section of the line was established in the late 1850s and historically has provided a vital transportation link in the flow of east-west traffic on the PRR system. The rail line has been determined eligible from Pittsburgh to the Ohio State line by PHMC (DOE 9/14/93).
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos
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