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Field Notes:
George Westinghouse Memorial Bridge, Allegheny County, PA

Since these notes were written, a data page with photos has been added.

George Westinghouse Memorial Bridge carries Lincoln Highway US30 over Turtle Creek from North Versailles Twp to East Pittsburgh Borough in Allegheny County, PA. Begun in 1929, completed in 1932. Designed by Vernon R. Covell; engineers: George S. Richardson and A.D. Nutter of the Allegheny County Dept of Public Works; contractor: Booth and Flinn Co.

Five spans for a total length of 1598 feet. Reinforced concrete parabolic arches with open spandrels and two longitudinal ribs. The central span is 460 feet with a rise of 153.5 feet. The deck is a bit higher...about 200 feet above the valley floor.

Four pylons at the entrances have 10' x 18' art deco granite reliefs by Frank Vittor, which depict the development of the Turtle Creek Valley including the defeat of the British General Braddock by the French and Indians in 1755; the steel industry (USS Edgar Thompson Works is just west of the bridge, built on the site of Braddock's Defeat); electricity (George Westinghouse's main manufacturing complex is below the bridge to the east and extends up the Turtle Creek Valley), and in honor of Mr. Westinghouse's varied contributions to invention and industry.

Stanley Roush was the architect for the pylons and the reliefs were finished after the bridge (1934-36). They also include escutcheons with the coat of arms seal of Allegheny County.

The deck has been repaired and replaced, but the substructure has held up rather well for its type.

The bridge bypassed a section of the old Lincoln Highway that cuts rather steeply down from North Versailles into the town of Turtle Creek. The old road crosses the creek over a 1925 skew Pratt truss bridge. The old Lincoln Highway followed Penn Ave to Braddock Ave and turned onto Electric Ave at the Westinghouse Airbrake plant (now a county-sponsored industrial park housed in the converted industrial buildings). The old alignment then follows a creek valley up to meet Ardmore Blvd in Forest Hills on its way to Pittsburgh.

For the truly adventurous scofflaws, there is a catwalk which extends under the length of the Westinghouse Bridge. but the view from the sidewalks on the deck is exciting enough for most.

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Page created: Page created: 15-Mar-1999
Last modified: 15-Mar-1999