View northwest (Monongahela River to right)
More detail photos
Duquesne Blvd over URR and Thompson Run
USGS 7.5" Topo Quad - UTM Coordinates:
Braddock - Zone 17; 0597 4470
Duquesne Blvd [PA837, Green Belt]
-- Overland Av
-- Carbon Av
-- Union Railroad
-- Thompson Run (tributary of Monongahela River)
TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION / DESIGN:
Steel deck girder
riveted plate girder, widened with welded girders flanking older structure
LENGTH OF MAIN SPAN:
TOTAL LENGTH (including longest elevated ramp):
808 ft (8 spans)
HEIGHT OF DECK:
YEAR ERECTED / ENGINEER:
1928, Allegheny County
from the PennDOT Historic Bridges Survey
The Thompson Run Bridge carries a 4 lane road and 2 sidewalks over a stream and tracks of the Union Railroad south of Kennywood Amusement Park. The Union RR was the intra plant railroad for the US Steel mills, with this stretch connecting the J. Edgar Thompson Works with the Duquesne Works. The area does not appear to be located in a potential historic district.
The 1928, skewed, 8 simple span, built up deck girder bridge is supported on concrete abutments and 2 column concrete piers with web walls. The girder bridge has built up member floorbeams carrying steel stringer and a concrete deck. In 1983 a new deck and sidewalks were placed, along with helper bents to carry the extended sidewalk. The original steel balustrade railing was retained, now protected by Jersey barriers. The bridge is an example of a common type with no innovative or distinguishing detail. Deck girder bridges were first developed by the railroad industry in the 1850s, and they were used on vehicular roadways in Allegheny County beginning in the late 19th century. Neither the bridge nor its setting and context are historically or technologically noteworthy.
The Union Railroad includes 65 miles of track and 200 miles of railyards -- all within eastern Allegheny County. The URR has its beginnings in 1896 as a part of a rail link from Lake Erie to the steel mills on the Monongahela River. The company arose from the union of five railroads between 1906 and 1915, and was the southern end of the Pittsburgh, Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad. The B&LE was financed by Andrew Carnegie to supply his steel mills, bypassing the Pennsylvania Railroad, and allowing Carnegie to control transportation costs for raw materials.
The URR follows the valleys of two different streams, each named Thompson Run. North of the Monongahela River is Thompson Run, a tributary of Turtle Creek, which in turn flows into the Monongahela River at the USS Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock. Opposite this point, another Thompson Run, having a watershed largely in West Mifflin, flows directly into the Monongahela River.
The northern portion of the Union Railroad connects to the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad at North Bessemer in Penn Hills. The southern section of the URR follows Thompson Run and splits into two lines: one connects in West Mifflin to the Wheeling and Lake Erie RR , formerly owned by the Norfolk & Western; the other line extends southward to Clairton and and interchange with the Norfolk Southern (former Conrail). An additional line follows the Monongahela River from Homestead, crossing the main north-south line at Duquesne, continuing on to McKeesport.
field check; Union Railroad website; PennDOT Historic Bridges Survey
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