Pittsburgh’s Triplet bridges are the only three bridges in the world that are identical to one another and sit right next to each other. During the time (1923-1924) there was a push to build these three bridges by the War Department. The War Department had concerns about navigating the Allegheny River which the bridges span across. These sister bridges replaced other bridges that were at the same locations by 1928. Wanting to use local companies and labor for the construction of these bridges The American Bridge Company (located at American Bridge Way Coraopolis, PA) was the builder and steel supplier as the Foundation Company (located in Pittsburgh) had the pier / abutment masonry contracts. The three bridges connected what is known now as the North Side (formally known as Allegheny City) and the City of Pittsburgh spanning over the Allegheny River.
The Roberto Clement Bridge also known as the Sixth street Bridge was the last to open on October 19, 1928.
The Andy Warhol Bridge also known as the Seventh Street Bridge was the first to open on June 17, 1926.
The Rachel Carson Bridge is also known as the Ninth street Bridge was opened on November 26, 1926.
There was minor Iron work done on all three of the sister bridges over the summer. There also was minor deck work done on the Andy Warhol Bridge (The Seventh Street Bridge). So the Allegheny County contracted Rhino Construction to do the minor maintenance on the Andy Warhol Bridge and they contracted Alverez Iron Work Company to do the minor Iron work on all three bridges. (As seen in video attached to story.)
Allegheny County Contracted Rhino and Alvarez to repair sister bridges and video is them fixing The Andy Warhol Bridge's deck and Iron on the walkways all repairs to bridges were minor repairs. Video By J.L. Martello / 18ricco
Stephen Shanley, manager of bridge operations and technical services for the Allegheny County Department of Public Works states, “We are currently performing repairs to the Roberto Clemente (6th), Andy Warhol (7th) & Rachel Carson (9th) Street Bridges as a result of the maintenance issues discovered during our most recent bridge inspections of these structures.” When asked who determines that these bridges needed work Shanley replies, “As a result of our ongoing NBIS (National Bridge Inspection Standards) Allegheny County has determined to initiate design for future rehabilitation on these structures.”
So minor work can and will be done on the bridges to insure that they are maintained to not be needed to shut down in the future for a long period of time and the whole structure being redone.
Which Shanley explains when he was asked why it is necessary to do minor work on the bridges. Shanley says, “Due to the ongoing deterioration of the concrete deck, structural members and paint system failures along with issues discovered during the routine NBIS inspections Allegheny County has elected to begin the rehabilitation process for these historic structures.”
Allegheny County has been performing routine maintenance on these three bridges on a yearly basis or as structural repairs of issue discovered during the routine NBIS inspections. Shanley says, “these maintenances are done at a minimum of every two years due to inspection recommendations.”
These bridges are used very often by people coming in and out of Pittsburgh in vehicles and on foot. Shanley says, “The ADT for the three bridges are historically about 15,000 to 20,000 vehicles per day, with the 7th Street Bridge having the least traffic and 9th Street having the most.” Shanley also states, “The 6th Street Bridge is routinely closed to vehicles for sporting & special events (Stealer & Pirate games, fireworks, marathon, etc.) for pedestrian access. New traffic counts and pedestrian counts are anticipated as part of the upcoming rehabilitation design contract.”
Shanley lets us know about future rehabilitation by saying, “We will be entering into an agreement with a design consultant to perform design services later in 2011 for the rehabilitation these three structures. The first step of the design process is to perform an in-depth inspection on each of these structures. This information will be used to determine the extent of the repairs that we will perform during the rehabilitation of each of these structures. We anticipate rehabilitating one structure at a time during the construction phase and tentatively anticipate the first rehabilitation to begin in 2014. This will be contingent on the extent of the issues discovered during the in-depth inspection and could also depend on the availability of future funding.”
To find out more about the history on the Sister bridges in Pittsburgh and there is a lot more to find out you can check out Wikipedia’s description at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Sisters_(Pittsburgh)
If you’re in Pittsburgh you can go to any of these bridges and read the metal plaques on either side of all three bridges and there is a plaque dedicated to the bridges by the 9th Street Bridge, before you go across it from the Fort Pitt Blvd. side. It explains some of the history of the three sister bridges as well.
Written By J.L. Martello / 18ricco
Video By J.L. Martello / 18ricco
Photo(s) By J.L. Martello / 18ricco
Contact “Ricco” J.L. Martello