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New Kensington Bridge

C. L. Schmitt Bridge

New Kensington Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: June 12, 2004 and August 2007

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
9th Street (PA-56) Over Allegheny River
New Kensington: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1927 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: Allegheny County Department of Public Works

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
370 Feet (112.8 Meters)
Structure Length
1,528 Feet (465.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
27.6 Feet (8.41 Meters)
3 Main Span(s) and 11 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

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


Photo Galleries and Videos: New Kensington Bridge

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
A collection of overview and detail photos. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original Size photos and Mobile Optimized photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: New Kensington Bridge

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