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photo of bridge

Northern crescent span

photo of bridge

Twin 300-foot crescent arches over the PLE RR yard

picture of bridge

Elevation drawing looking downstream

More detail photos

McKees Rocks Bridge
(western section over McKees Rocks "Bottoms")
view page - Ohio River channel span crossing

Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) survey number PA-445

Pittsburgh - McKees Rocks

USGS 7.5" Topo Quad - UTM Coordinates:
Pittsburgh West - Zone 17; 0580 4480
Blue Belt, SR3104; two lanes each direction

Pedestrian walkways on outside of both upstream and downstream trusses
upstream sidewalk closed

-- Ohio River Blvd [PA65] at Termon Av Approach
-- Island Av [PA51] (McKees Rocks)

-- NS RR
-- Ohio River at Mile 3.3
-- Pittsburgh, Chartiers and Youghiogheny RR, Pittsburgh Industrial RR; Agnes St (Warren trusses directly above); Olivia St ped underpass; Helen St; Munson Av; Chambers St; CSX RR [PLE RR]; PCY RR; Harriet St
steel trussed crescent through arch

750.0 ft

TOTAL LENGTH (including longest elevated ramp):
7,300 ft est

100.6 ft

1931, County of Allegheny
Vernon R. Covell, Chief Engineer
Alfred D. Nutter, Engineer of Bridge Design
Penn DOT, current owner
view page - McKees Rocks Bridge main span over Ohio River

view page - McKees Rocks Bridge -- Historic American Engineering Record

The McKees Rocks Bridge is a complex string of structures stretching nearly 1.5 miles across the wide, flat valley of the Ohio River. The focal point of the group is the 750-foot two-hinged trussed arch river span.

But the river span makes up only 1/10 of the length of this group which is practically a pattern book of bridge types. It includes, from east to west: a 77-foot deck girder, three cantilever spandrel-braced deck arches (334 ft, 324 ft, 338 ft), 750-foot river span, another cantilever spandrel-braced deck arch (340 ft) and its counterbalancing deck truss span (194 ft), eight Warren deck trusses (each about 163 ft), an elevated concrete section of 1,145 ft which includes a pedestrian underpass at Olivia St, a trio of two-lane vehicle underpasses at Helen St, Munson Av and Chambers St, a pair of crescent trussed through arches (300 ft each) crossing the rail yards, a single lane vehicle underpass at Harriet St, finally touching down in a ramp which meets Island Av in McKees Rocks.

Travelling toward McKees Rocks, the roadway bends about 30 degrees to a nearly direct westward course just before reaching the eight Warren deck trusses. In doing so, it skirts the northern tip of the remains of a prehistoric Native American mound. The mound has been altered over the years since the European settlers arrived, and today it is topped with oil storage tanks. The mound was built up as an extension of the natural exposed rock formation which gave the town its name. The eastern tip still shows an exposed rock outcropping, but this area has been used as a stone quarry and storage facility; its natural beauty and prominence as a landmark has been lost.

The majority of the McKees Rocks Bridge group rises above dry land -- McKees Rocks "Bottoms." The main street through the Bottoms is Helen St. Once passing northward under the concrete opening in the wall that is this part of the Bridge, George St angles to the left -- leading to Presston. Circa 1900, Pressed-Steel Car Company constructed about 100 frame double homes for its company town. Aside from a now closed pedestrian bridge over the railroad, this is the only means of access to Presston, Stowe Twp.

McKees Rocks lies near the mouth of Chartiers Creek. The area was considered as an alternate site for Fort Pitt. In 1879, the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad began building its shops in the Bottoms. The town and its industry soon sprang up around the railroad.


USACE Ohio River Nav. Charts

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Introduction -- Nearby Structures

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Last modified: 26-Sep-2000

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