No need to picture sheep when I have trouble sleeping – I need only to start trying to list the bridges I’ve seen in Pittsburgh thus far. I don’t usually have any trouble falling asleep though. My days are wonderfully full and I am pleasantly tired come eveing. When I am not working at Marty’s Market (where I have been premoted to cafe supervisor…!) I walk for miles all over the city, seeking out new coffee shops and bars and places to eat pierogies at, getting lost in Phipps Conservatory and Allegheny Cemetery, and of course keeping an eye out for bridges.
Already mentioned here, the 16th St Bridge on a recent sunny day.
Not terribly exciting – the Veterans Bridge is the 6th crossing on the Allegheny River and carries I-579 over.
There are four bridges here, with the Fort Wayne Railroad Bridge leading the pack (5th crossing of this river). Completed in 1904, it’s the bridge my Amtrak train and I pulled into town via 5 weeks ago.
I left Three Sisters behind in Oregon – snow covered mountains – only to find myself in the company of a new trio of Sisters. These three nearly identical bridges share the name, but have their own names as well. From forground to background these are the Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol, and Rachel Carson bridges – the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th crossings of the Allegheny River. They are self-anchored suspension bridges, were completed in the 20s, and were the first ones of this style built in the US (and are the only such trio in this country).
Pretty nice, huh?
The Fort Duquesne Bridge, first crossing of the Allegheny River, was built in the 1960s. It is notorious for being the “Bridge to Nowhere” because for years, due to issues with aquiring right-of-ways, it lacked it’s north side ramps and ended in mid-air…! It now successfully lifts I-279 across the river and allows fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers to get to Heinz Stadium (seen below the bridge span here) on time for home games (GO STEELERS!)
Here’s a palate cleanser – the fountain in Point State Park. The park lies at the point of Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle” and at the confluence of the three rivers (Allegheny, Monongahela, an Ohio). The 150 ft. fountain pulls water from an underground aquifer, part of an ancient water channel that is now filled with sand and gravel. A good case can be made for called the fountain Pittsburgh’s fourth river though!
Pittsburgh’s bridges don’t just cross rivers. Due to the hilly nature of the land some of the bridges leap across gultches, flying high above ravines filled with roads and rails. Schenley Bridge has been getting folks across Junction Hollow since 1897. People get their knowledge on in the Cathedral of Learning (seen center-top), part of the mass of university buildings in the neighborhood of Oakland, then pop over Schenley Bridge to visit Phipps Conservatory or Schenley Park, leaving (apparently) a love padlock hanging on the bridge fence…
Seen here from the Schenley Bridge, the Charles Anderson Memorial Bridge tosses the Blvd of the Allies across another part of Junction Hollow and is another access point for Schenley Park. It’s from the 1940s, and employs a pretty nifty design – the Wichert Self-Adjusting Truss. I wont bother explaining that – if you’re feeling nerdy enough, here’re the dets.
Okay, only two more for today!
The 28th St. Bridge crosses a few railroad tracks and a busway and a road and…a parking lot. It’s a cute little bridge that provides access to the neighborhood of Polish Hill, and has been doing so since 1931. I walked across it yesterday, hiked all the way up Polish Hill and beyond (more on that another time!) and then came down and crossed those same tracks and roads and busways and a community football and baseball field, via the Bloomfield Bridge.
I haven’t found a place to take a decent picture of the actual bridge yet (and besides, it’s just a boring steel girder thing from 1986) but the view from there is pretty nice in all directions. This is looking through the fence toward the Strip District and North Shore.
And this is looking toward East Liberty, with another view of the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland.
All right, enough for today! Next time I write it’ll be to report on some of the places I’ve been to and things I’ve seen after crossing all those bridges. But now it’s about time for me to go to sleep, and like I said, I won’t need any sheep to help me drift off…!
(Speaking of counting, I believe that’s 16 bridges I’ve documented here – out of 446 or so…? Hoo boy.)