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photo of bridge

View toward North Side

photo of bridge

Elevation drawing looking downstream

More detail photos

OFFICIAL NAME:
Robert Clemente Bridge

OTHER DESIGNATION:
Sixth Street Bridge

LOCATION:
Pittsburgh

USGS 7.5" Topo Quad - UTM Coordinates:
Pittsburgh West - Zone 17; 0584 4477
CARRIES:
Sixth Street

BETWEEN:
-- Federal St on right descending bank of Allegheny River
-- Sixth St and Fort Duquesne Blvd on left descending bank of Allegheny River

CROSSES:
-- Allegheny River at mile 0.5; Tenth Street Bypass
TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION / DESIGN:
Self-anchored Suspension
cables are steel eyebar chain
steel eyebar suspenders
steel plate girder deck
rusticated ashlar piers

LENGTH OF MAIN SPAN:
442 ft (410 ft clear span)

TOTAL LENGTH (including longest elevated ramp):
884 ft

HEIGHT OF DECK:
40 ft
Emsworth Dam normal pool level 710 ft

YEAR ERECTED / ENGINEER:
1925-28, County of Allegheny

Vernon R. Covell, T.J. Wilkerson, A.D. Nutter, and H.E. Dodge of the Allegheny County Department of Public Works, engineers; Stanley L. Roush, architect

Allegheny County, current owner

ADDITIONAL INFO:
One of the "Three Sisters." Municipal Art Commission mandated suspension as form of the bridges, but site conditions did not allow for typical anchorages. Bridges were built as cantilevers until catenaries were completed.

In a very unusual, self-anchored suspension design, instead of heavy anchorages to hold the cable ends, rigid towers hold the ends apart. First of this type in US. Fourth bridge built on this site.

Deck girders were previously painted green and remaining superstructure was painted aluminum grey. Most downtown Pittsburgh river bridges are currently painted golden yellow (the official city colors are Black and Gold).

Won an award for beauty from American Institute of Steel Contruction in 1929.

The first bridge (1819) to cross the Allegheny River and the first of four which would connect Federal St to Sixth St was a Burr arch-truss. The second bridge (1857-1892) was a wire rope suspension bridge by John Roebling, creator of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City and the second bridge at Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh.

The 1892 Sixth Street Bridge (a pair of Pratt trusses and the third bridge built in this location) was floated to a new location over the Ohio River back channel between Coraopolis and Neville Island in 1927 to make way for the current structure. That structure was replaced by a deck girder bridge which was completed in 1995.

Sixth St was formerly St. Clair St in Pittsburgh; it aligns with Federal St in the former city of Allegheny (Northside).

Field Notes provide additional technical information.

view page - "Three Sisters" Bridges -- Historic American Engineering Record document

FIELD CHECKED:
09-Jul-1999

INFO SOURCES:
Comm. of PA, et. al.: "Historic Hwy Bridges"; Kidney: "Landmark Architecture"; USACE Allegheny River Nav. Charts


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Introduction -- Nearby Structures


Page created:
Last modified: 30-Nov-1999

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