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Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge (Woodlawn-Ambridge Bridge)

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Woodlawn-Ambridge Bridge
1926–1927, T. J. Wilkerson, engineer. Ohio River at 11th St.

This elegant cantilever bridge across the Ohio River is truly a local product. Designed by a Beaver County engineer, it connects two major industrial centers: Ambridge, home of the American Bridge Company, and Aliquippa, home of Jones and Laughlin Steel Company (J&L). In a unique partnership of competitors, J&L produced much of the necessary metal, while the American Bridge Company (a subsidiary of United States Steel) fabricated the bridge super-structure; even the sand and gravel for the piers and abutments were excavated from the local riverbed. The bridge's span of 1,907 feet includes an extension above the railroad tracks on the west bank of the river. This is one of the most beautiful of Beaver County's major bridges, and second only to the P&LE Bridge ( BE15.1) for sheer impact. Its graceful metalwork that culminates in four pinnacled towers is a filigree of thin struts and intricate trusswork in a pale blue-green coloring that lends the bridge an almost ethereal quality. Among the first to span the wide Ohio River, the bridge has required more than its share of repairs and expenditures over the years. A pipeline added in 1953 runs along its length carrying water to the Ambridge Borough Water Softening Plant ( BE45) from a reservoir six miles away.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.
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Citation

Lu Donnelly et al., "Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge (Woodlawn-Ambridge Bridge)", [Aliquippa, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-01-BE49.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 170-171.

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