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picture of bridge

View east from Verona Rd and Rockcliff Rd

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Allegheny County Bridge Number 1 Quigley's Creek QY01

Verona Rd over Quigley's Creek

Penn Hills

USGS 7.5" Topo Quad - UTM Coordinates:
Braddock - Zone 17; 0598-4482
Verona Rd (old alignment), aka First Av

-- intersection of Verona Rd and Rockcliff Rd
-- Poketa Rd

-- Quigley's Creek (1876 map: Quigley's Run)

stone arch
locally-quarried sandstone
outer spandrel wall: rock-faced coursed ashlar
upper walls and parapets: dressed coursed ashlar
arch ring: dressed voussoirs in semi-circular arch

8 ft

TOTAL LENGTH (including longest elevated ramp):
37 ft

19 ft wide, between parapets at center
22.5 ft wide, between parapets at eastern portal

1900, Allegheny County
Charles Davis, engineer

Poketa Road (formerly Pucketty Road), the Indian name derived from the creek which formed part of Allegheny County's eastern border, passes nearby in making the connection between East Liberty and towns on the Kiskimenetas River farther to the east. The road has been renamed in various sections including Lincoln Av in eastern Pittsburgh and Penn Hills. Poketa Rd turns southward to avoid a once-deeper part of the Quigley's Creek ravine. Poketa Rd and Saltsburg Rd are alternate routes to parallel the old military Forbes Road -- Frankstown Rd. -- which follows a ridge to the south, therby avoiding stream crossings.

The Warantee Atlas of Allegheny County (pub. 1911) shows the original landowners in the area. The area around the stone bridge is shown as: "Hugh Quigley. 243 acres and 103 perches and allowance. Warrant dated August 26, 1785. Surveyed December 15, 1875. Patented January 30, 1872 to Fred'k Stoner" Little is known of the Irish immigrant, Hugh Quigley and his wife, Ann. The name survived through multiple generations of marriages as the descendants used "Quigley" as a middle name. The land passed to Stoner in 1872 and the 1876 atlas shows no indication of Quigley other than the name of the creek which ran through his property.

Rockcliff Rd parallels the upper reaches of Quigley's Creek. Obscured by overgrowth, remnants and foundation of buildings may be found on land once owned by mining operations of the New York and Cleveland Gas Coal Co. The 1876 atlas of Allegheny County shows a coal railroad extending from the Allegheny River, up the Quigley's Run valley, and parallel to Rockcliff Rd. The railroad crossed Verona Rd to the east of the stone bridge location then continued through the NYCGC property to the coal works of Armstrong Dickson & Co.

According to the 1903 Hopkins map, Verona Rd near the stone bridge was also called First Av when Andrew McMillan created a subdivision of lots called the McMillan Plan. The only street retaining its name from this time is Third Av. Madison Dr was Second Av; the part of Poketa Rd leading to the Green Oaks Country Club was Main St. The neighborhood is now part of Rosedale.

During years surrounding 1900, Allegheny County, under the direction of County Engineer Charles Davis, was busy throughout the county building stone arch bridges of a simple and similar design. This bridge exhibits the more common design features of the County's stone bridges -- parapets with rounded top and horizontal curves at the portals.

The stone bridge is unusual among its cousins because of its dimensions: it is one of the shortest spans at 8 feet, but the 37-foot-long outer wall rises over 15 feet above the creek. The other bridges tend to be more enlongated.

It was common for old roads to curve as they approached deeper ravines, in an attempt to minimize the width of the crossing by moving the location further upstream. In this location, the road curves southward but the bridge was able to be built without a skew or curve. The parapets on the northeast, however, was curved outward over its first thirteen feet (of 37 total) to widen the bridge portal and make entry easier. Additionally, County Engineer Charles Davis commonly used gentle curves in his stone bridge designs -- likely as an aesthetic choice.

After the rise of the automobile, roads were relocated and straightened. In many places, the older bridges were removed, but here the divergence from the generally-straight Verona Rd led the County to bypass the old bridge and alignment. A simple concrete slab carries Verona Rd over Quigley's Creek. Fortunately, this has allowed the old stone bridge to survive; today it is ensconced in a small grove of trees at the edge of the fire station parking lot in Rosedale.

Allegheny County assigns its bridges with an ID number counting from a stream's outflow, sequentially upstream. Because of its age, this bridge defies the system. Although Allegheny River Blvd and the new alignment of Verona Rd are respectively the first and second County roads to cross Quigley's Creek, the old stone bridge was built first and numbered first. As such, there is are painted ID numbers on the parapet endcap which show this to be QY01 (Quigley's Creek Number 1).


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Introduction -- Nearby Structures

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Last modified: 05-Feb-2003

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