View north from Riverview High School, Oakmont
Elevation drawing looking downstream
Jonathon Hulton Bridge
Hulton Bridge, Oakmont Bridge
Harmar - Oakmont
USGS 7.5" Topo Quad - UTM Coordinates:
New Kensington West - Zone 17; 0597 4486
Motor vehicles, 2 lanes; SR2082
-- Freeport Rd [old PA28] (Harmarville) on right descending bank of Allegheny River
-- Hulton Rd (Oakmont) on right descending bank of Allegheny River
(RDB to LDB) NS RR (Conrail Conemaugh Div); Allegheny River at Mile 12.7
TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION / DESIGN:
subdivided Parker Pratt through truss
LENGTH OF MAIN SPAN:
460 ft clearance channel span
TOTAL LENGTH (including longest elevated ramp):
HEIGHT OF DECK:
50.0 ft clearance
Lock and Dam No. 2, Highland Park, normal pool level 721.0 ft
YEAR ERECTED / ENGINEER:
1908, County of Allegheny
Demolished January 26, 2016; replaced by steel girder deck bridge, adajcent upstream
Commentary at HistoricBridges.org
Jonathon Hulton was one of the three major landowners in the area which became Oakmont. His son started a ferry in 1864 below the family's home. The ferry ownership passed to others until the bridge was built.
This was the first Allegheny River crossing built by the County of Allegheny. It was constructed at a cost of $306,000. Before 1912, the Oakmont streets perpendicular to the river, now named for states, were given lettered designations. At the time the bridge was opened, September 4, 1908, Hulton Rd was H Street.
In 1972, PA state representative Joseph F. Bonetto suggested that the Hulton Bridge would be inadequate to handle the projected traffic increase due to the construction of the Allegheny Valley Expressway extending through Harmar Twp on the opposite shore. He proposed a new bridge further upstream nearer Harmarville -- crossing into Plum Borough. This bridge would have been constructed in his district while the Hulton Bridge was not. The plan never materialized and, politics aside, he had a good point. Hulton Bridge traffic is typically backed-up for its length during peak periods.
On the eve of Oakmont's 1989 centennial, the PA legislature quietly approved the renaming of the bridge in Rep. Bonetto's honor after his death. This came as a surprise to the residents of Oakmont. The small commemorative plaques were unceremoniously attached to the bridge January 19, 1989. Soon after the plaques began to disappear and within three days they were never to return. Since then, new, larger plaques confirming the bridge as being named for the early resident Jonathon Hulton have been mounted.
As for Representative Bonetto, PA380, which runs through his former district, has been named Joseph F. Bonetto Memorial Highway.
During the Hulton Bridge's most recent refurbishment, unusual mixing of paint resulted in silvery lavender color.
In 1930-31, Allegheny River Blvd was built to the downstream end of town, passing through Verona. The main street through Oakmont was renamed as part of the project. Earlier it had been West Railroad Av (the Allegheny Valley Railroad, former-PRR runs through the center of town). Others names included Oakmont Av and Riverside Drive as Allegheny River Blvd was known during the planning stages.
Demolished January 26, 2016.
Commentary at HistoricBridges.org
field check; USACE Allegheny River Nav. Charts; Oakmont Centennial 1889-1989 book
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