Category: Bridges

  • Portal Bridge

    Portal Bridge

    This bridge carries eight lanes of expressway traffic over the entrance to Point Park. It was also designed to make entering and leaving Point Park a dramatic experience. Under the bridge is a footbridge over an artificial pond, and as we cross the footbridge on the way in, the Point Fountain becomes visible; on the way out, the skyline opens up to us.

  • The Point in 1967

    The Point in 1967

    In 1967, the Point had been cleared and the Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt Bridges had been built. But the old Manchester and Point Bridges were still standing. The Manchester Bridge was still in use; the Fort Duquesne Bridge was famously the Bridge to Nowhere, with no approaches on the North Side end. It was built in 1963, but did not open (with actual ramps on the north end) until 1969. The Fort Pitt Bridge, on the other hand, had opened in 1959, so the Point Bridge was an abandoned hulk. Both the Point and Manchester Bridges were finally taken down in 1970.

    This old slide, taken by the late Donald Bailey in 1967, was badly overexposed to begin with, and it had been stored in bad conditions, but we were able to get a recognizable image out of it with some work in the GIMP. We thank Mr. Bailey’s heirs for donating some of his pictures to the public.

  • Smithfield Street Bridge and Monongahela Incline

    Smithfield Street Bridge

    Looking southward on the Smithfield Street Bridge from Fort Pitt Boulevard, with the Monongahela Incline beginning its descent in the background.

  • Panhandle Bridge

    Panhandle Bridge

    When Amtrak stopped using this bridge and the downtown tunnel into which it led, the Port Authority seized the opportunity. The bridge now carries the streetcars over the Mon and into the subway, the first part of which uses that old railroad tunnel—so that, like many other things in Pittsburgh, our subway is cobbled together from spare parts.

  • Trusswork on the Smithfield Street Bridge

  • The House Building (and the Smithfield Street Bridge)

    House Building from the Smithfield Street Bridge

    The House Building (1902, architect James T. Steen) looms before us as we cross the Smithfield Street Bridge.

    House Building
  • The 1877 Point Bridge

    Point Bridge

    From an old postcard (the back bears a 1906 postmark), this picture gives us a good idea of the scale of freight traffic on the Monongahela. The first Point Bridge was built in 1877 and replaced in 1927; the second one was closed in 1959 but stayed up for eleven more years.

  • Sixteenth Street Bridge

    Sixteenth Street Bridge

    The architectural aspects of the Sixteenth Street Bridge, now named for David McCullough, were designed by Warren and Wetmore, the architects of Grand Central Station in New York.

  • 31st Street Bridge

    31st Street Bridge

    In order to line up with the street grid of the Strip, the 31st Street Bridge has an odd kink at the south end. Here we see it from Wiggins Street, Polish Hill.

  • Infrastructure

    Trusswork under the Liberty Bridge

    Trusswork under the north end of the Liberty Bridge.