Father Pitt

Why should the beautiful die?


The Smithfield Street Bridge

Two pictures of the Smithfield Street Bridge, both taken with the same toy digital camera.

Lenticular or “scissors” trusses (sometimes called “Pauli trusses”) are rare on bridges anywhere. This is one of the great examples in the United States. The bridge was designed by one of the great names in bridge-building, Gustav Lindenthal. Until the 1980s, the dowstream side carried automobiles and the upstream side streetcars, but the streetcars were rerouted over the Panhandle Bridge when the subway downtown opened. After a major restoration, the bridge now caries automotive traffic on both sides.

If you are a bridge lover, Pittsburgh is the one city you must see before you die. There are more bridges here than in any other city anywhere, and for a considerable time there was actually a government body here charged with seeing that new bridges were not only practical and safe, but aesthetically beautiful as well. An excellent introduction to the bridges of Pittsburgh is at pghbridges.com.

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