Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Highways

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The Sewickley Bridge

Oct. 21 -- The completion of the new Sewickley Bridge across the Ohio River adds another important span to the long list of those erected through the years in the Pittsburgh area by U. S. Steel's American Bridge Division.

The division was general contractor for the new bridge, which was dedicated today by the owner, the Pennsylvania Department of Transporation. Opening of the bridge comes only 17 months after the 68-year-old original Sewickley Bridge was closed to traffic.

"We are pleased to join in celebrating the opening of this bridge with the Department of Transportation and the communities for which it means so much," said Bruce Glidden, president of American Bridge. "We are proud to have participated in another key link in this area's transportation network."

American Bridge has built many of the world's largest and most famous bridges throughout this country and abroad and has also erected a number of the spans crossing the three rivers locally. Among them are the Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne Bridges and the Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Street Bridges in Pittsburgh, and the Interstate 79 Bridge across the Ohio at Neville Island.

The new Sewickley Bridge, like the former one, is about 1,850 feet long. It is a continuous truss span which contains almost 4,500 tons of structural steel and includes two 12-foot-wide lanes with 4-foot shoulders and a 5-foot-wide pedestrian walkway. It was designed and built in the same basic shape as the original bridge.

American Bridge first dismantled the 5,760 tons of steel in the original bridge. This was done piece by piece with the exception of the 800-ton, 350-foot-long center span, which was dramatically lowered intact onto two barges and floated away July 9 of last year.

A second major aspect of the project was reconstruction of the two original river piers, which remained to support the new structure, and construction of new land piers. The river piers were modified to accomdate the new wider span.

Erection of the basic steel structure for the new bridge was culminated last April 7 when a top chord was bolted into place to complete closure of the center span. Following that, placement of some final supporting members, final bolting, installation of railings and deckwork and painting of the new bridge completed the job.

The steel for the bridge was fabricated at the Ambridge Plant of U. S. Steel's USS Fabrication Division and shipped up river several miles to the site. Pier work was handled by the W. P. Dickerson Co. and painting by the John B. Conomos Co.

Sewickley-Coraopolis Bridge 1911-1981
Supplement to the Coraopolis Record and the Sewickley Herald
Wednesday, October 21, 1981, Page 3A

Created on ... November 29, 2000