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Allegheny-Beaver Co. Bridge No. 1 Sewickley Creek
Beaver Rd over Big Sewickley Creek
Leetsdale, Allegheny Co. - Ambridge, Beaver Co.
USGS 7.5" Topo Quad - UTM Coordinates:
Ambridge - Zone 17; 0565 4492
-- Beech St (Leetsdale, Allegheny Co.)
-- First St (Ambridge, Beaver Co.)
-- Big Sewickley Creek
TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION / DESIGN:
LENGTH OF MAIN SPAN:
TOTAL LENGTH (including longest elevated ramp):
HEIGHT OF DECK:
YEAR ERECTED / ENGINEER:
Widened and relined 1919
Although altered, this may be the oldest bridge in Allegheny County. A plate embedded in the sandstone parapet reports the bridge was erected in 1827, then widened and lined in 1919.
Most of the stonework is carefully cut and fitted, with the black sooty veneer typical of this region's structures which stood through the dirtiest days of the then-Smoky City. But there are remnants of what appears to be the earlier construction. At the exposed base of the southeast abutment, the color, shape and wear of the stone is obviously different.
The bridge name given on the plate is similar to the format used by Allegheny County. Bridges are named for the stream they cross and ordered numerically from their outflow. When this bridge was built, it was sequentially the first County road crossing above the outflow of this creek into the Ohio River.
Downstream along the creek, the Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad (later incorporated into Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad, then Pennsylvania RR) built a bridge to cross the creek when that line was being competed in 1851. In 1929, the PRR moved their mainline further toward the Ohio River allowing the former right-of-way to become Ohio River Blvd. The boulevard now carries the main traffic bypassing the old Beaver Rd.
Big Sewickley Creek forms the boundary between Allegheny and Beaver counties. General "Mad" Anthony Wayne had led troops in the Northwest Territories, permanently displacing the Native Americans leading to the 1795 Treaty of Greenville. With the resulting peace leading to rising population, local residents pressed for the establishment of new counties. The Pennsylvania legislature passed an act, March 12, 1800, which allowed the formation of eight new counties, including Beaver -- with part of the land being taken from Allegheny County. Just 27 years later, the first parts of this stone bridge were built.
Builder plate; Bausman, History of Beaver Co. and centennial celebration; Kobus and Consoli, "PRR's Golden Triangle"
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Introduction -- Nearby Structures
Page created: 29-Jul-2002
Last modified: 29-Jul-2002
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