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George Westinghouse Bridge

George Westinghouse Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 3, 2012 and June 30, 2014

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Key Facts

Location
East Pittsburgh: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1931 By Builder/Contractor: Booth and Flinn Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Allegheny County Department of Public Works

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1983
Main Span Length
460 Feet (140 Meters)
Structure Length
1,524 Feet (465 Meters)
Roadway Width
48 Feet (14.63 Meters)
Spans
5 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
20030026000000

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

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

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

This bridge is perhaps one of, if not the most well-known of the many historic Allegheny County bridges that does not cross one of the big three rivers. Crossing Turtle Creek and other features as a high level bridge, this bridge was claimed to be the longest concrete arch bridge in the world when completed. Such a claim would have to exclude railroad bridges, since the older Tunkhannock Viaduct far exceeds the length of this bridge. Regardless, the bridge was and remains among the longest concrete arch bridges in the United States. However, the Westinghouse Bridge's largest central span does appear to have been the longest concrete arch span in the world when completed. The Pittsburgh area is noted for a number of concrete arch bridges with unusually long span lengths, yet the 460 foot length of this bridge's central span dwarfs all others in the Pittsburgh area. In addition to the length of the bridge, the height of the bridge, about 200 feet above the valley floor, adds to its significance and impressive appearance.

Of interest, this enormous bridge was not designed by an outside consulting engineer as was often the case with large, complicated bridges. Instead, Allegheny County Engineer Vernon Covell with the assistance of George Richardson designed the bridge. This bridge was constructed by Booth and Flynn Company. Visit the Ohio River Boulevard Spruce Run Bridge for photos, information, and biographies about the company and the important men who who ran it.

This bridge is apparently officially named the "George Westinghouse Memorial Bridge" even though the pillars at the ends of this bridge read simply "George Westinghouse Bridge." The bridge is commonly called the Westinghouse Bridge for short.

This bridge also includes enormous decorative pylons that depict area history through a series of sculptures. There are also sculptures showing the Allegheny County coat of arms. The four descriptive sculptures and the text below each sculpture is shown below.

 
STEEL

HERE IN THE TURTLE CREEK VALLEY, THE STEEL INDUSTRY STRUGGLED THROUGH ITS INFANCY AND HERE IT HAS BECOME FUNDAMENTAL TO MODERN CIVILIZATION

 
ELECTRICITY

WHEREVER ELECTRICITY HAS FLOWED, MAN'S EXISTENCE HAS BEEN ENRICHED AND INDUSTRY HAS GROWN

 
TURTLE CREEK VALLEY

AT THE ENTRANCE TO THIS HISTORIC VALLEY THE BRITISH FORCES UNDER GENERAL BRADDOCK WERE DEFEATED BY THE FRENCH AND INDIANS FROM FORT DUQUESNE 1755

 
GEORGE WESTINGHOUSE

IN BOLDNESS OF CONCEPTION, IN GREATNESS AND IN USEFULNESS TO MANKIND THIS BRIDGE TYPIFIES THE CHARACTER AND CAREER OF GEORGE WESTINGHOUSE 1846-1914 IN WHOSE HONOR IT WAS DEDICATED ON SEPTEMBER 10, 1932

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Photo Galleries and Videos: George Westinghouse Bridge

 
View Photo Gallery
2014 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2014 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2012 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A small collection of overview photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2012 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A small collection of overview photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: George Westinghouse Bridge

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Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within a half mile of this bridge.

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