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Ohio River Boulevard Spruce Run Bridge

Ohio River Boulevard Spruce Run Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 1, 2010

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Ohio River Boulevard (PA-65) Over Spruce Run and Spruce Road
Ben Avon: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Concrete Open Spandrel Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete Slab, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1930 By Builder/Contractor: Booth and Flinn Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Allegheny County Department of Public Works

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
150 Feet (45.7 Meters)
Structure Length
630 Feet (192 Meters)
Roadway Width
48 Feet (14.63 Meters)
3 Main Span(s) and 12 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

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

View A Historical Biography of William Flinn

View Another Historical Biography of William Flinn

View A Historical Biography of James Booth

This bridge is one of the five remaining large concrete arch bridges on the Ohio River Boulevard. This is the only surviving example with multiple arch spans. Like the other arch bridges on Ohio River Boulevard, it has been altered with the widening of the deck. Some spandrel columns are also replaced. However the bridge remains an impressive example of concrete bridge construction and still maintains the same overall superstructure appearance.

This bridge was built by Booth and Flinn, a major contracting company that was run by powerful people. Links to their biographies are provided above and photos of James Booth and William Flinn are shown below.


Above: Historical photo showing bridge construction. Taken March 15, 1930. Photo courtesy Sandy Tomich who reports that her grandfather George Hockensmith built bridges from Schenectady to California and Washington DC's Arlington Bridge.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 1930, 752'-long, reinforced concrete, ribbed, open spandrel arch has 2, 150'-long main spans. About 1986 the bridge was widened by the removal of the original cantilevered deck sections and balustrades and placement of wider cantilevered deck sections with plain bracketed supports and safety shape barriers at the roadway curbs. Some spandrel columns were also replaced. The sidewalks are finished with chain link fence pedestrian barriers. Most of the columns have been shotcreted. Neither the bridge nor its setting and context are historically or technologically significant due to extensive alterations.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 4 lane highway and 2 sidewalks over a stream and local road on the north bank of the Ohio River in a setting dominated by a mix of residential and modern commercial development. It was built as part of the Ohio River Boulevard, the highway designed to speed traffic to the McKees Rocks bridge. The highway has lost integrity due to alterations to its original geometry and roadside features as well as extensive modern development along it. Neither the highway nor the setting have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Ohio River Boulevard Spruce Run Bridge

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Maps and Links: Ohio River Boulevard Spruce Run Bridge

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