This bridge is one of many historic concrete arch bridges in Pittsburgh. The bridge roadway has a 5.8% grade. This particular example has sadly been extensively altered. The entire deck system has been completely replaced, leaving only the arch superstructure behind, which the Historic Bridge Inventory notes has itself been altered. The modern railings and fences are a severe detriment to the aesthetic quality of the bridge. However, the structure is still more attractive than a modern bridge when viewed from a nearby residential street. This bridge is a great example of how not to restore a historic bridge! Hopefully, Pittsburgh will treat its other historic arch bridges that retain integrity with greater respect.
The fact that there are many bridges similar to this one in Pittsburgh that are larger and/or have higher integrity, hold back the local significance of this bridge.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 1930, 390'-long, reinforced concrete, ribbed, open spandrel arch has a 210'-long main span and slab approach spans supported on concrete abutments and concrete column and cap bents. About 1980 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. 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. It was determined not eligible by PHMC in 1986.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries the 4 lane, Ohio River Boulevard (SR 65) over Verner Avenue in a wooded setting that gives way to modern, franchise commercial development and scattered highly altered early-20th century buildings. 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
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