This beautiful truss bridge has a Parker configuration, and has three main truss spans, with the middle span being larger than the others. There is also a through plate girder span before the main spans. This bridge is the next bridge upstream from the Hulton Bridge. It is interesting to compare this bridge to the Hulton Bridge, since New Kensington is more of a classic camelback shape, while Hulton exhibits its unusual vertical end posts. This bridge has huge turnbuckles. The bridge is an extremely late example of a pin-connected truss bridge. However, this should not diminish its historic value, especially given the staggering number of large-span truss bridges that have been demolished in Pennsylvania thanks to PennDOT.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 14 span, 1510'-long, bridge designed and built by the county in 1927 is composed of 3, simply supported, pin connected, Parker thru truss spans (1 @ 370', 2 @ 265') over the river and built-up deck and thru girder approach spans. The trusses are traditionally composed with built up box section for the upper chords and verticals and eye bars for the lower chords and diagonals. The bridge has no innovative or distinctive details other than its overall size, and it is not historically or technologically significant. It is a bridge type and design that was used for major crossings since the late 19th century. The use of pinned connections in 1927 was for ease of fabrication.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane street and 1 sidewalk over the Allegheny River, active Conrail tracks on both sides of the river, and a portion of SR 1001 on the west side of the river. The railroad lines are the former Pennsylvania Railroad West Penn branch on the east side of the river and its Allegheny Valley branch on the west side. Neither line is historically significant. The area on the east side of the bridge is a mixed use area of industry and warehouses, including a portion of the now-closed Alcoa plant in New Kensington. The area west of the bridge is predominantly late 20th century commercial and light industrial in character.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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