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Elizabeth Bridge over Mon River, PA

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BCBA

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Mar 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/29/99
to
a visitor to my Bridges website asked about the "Elizabeth Bridge" and I
thought some of you might be interested in the reply and might be able
to comment further:


> Do you know when the Elizabeth bridge carrying Route 51 over the Mon at
> Elizabeth Pa was built


I estimate the date at 1948...more research could probably give a firm
date.

I'll tell you some of what I know and how I arrived at the estimated
date:

The Elizabeth Highway bridge carrying PA51 over the Monogahela River is
officially known as the Regis R. Malady Bridge. There are signs mounted
at the entrance piers on each end and plaques on the piers supporting
the channel span which are visible from the sidewalk on the upstream
side. No other builder plates are present. The channel span is 434.5
feet.

The superstructure arch is a subdivided Warren Truss modified into an
arched shape. The anchor spans appear to act as a counterbalance to the
main arch. The arch is built with box girders similar to later bridges
like the Fort Pitt Bridge built between 1956-60, and also shares
oval-perforated W-shape structural steel members in the crossbracing and
arch ribs. Both bridges use wire rope cables to suspend the road deck.

The Elizabeth Bridge crossbracing is made of many more and smaller
pieces than the more modern Ft. Pitt Bridge, but fewer than the
Mansfield cantilever at Dravosburg or the Lysle Ave Bridge (arch with
suspended deck) at McKeesport the later from 1937.

The Elizabeth Bridge channel piers are rusticated stone while the
approach piers and those visible from the traffic lanes are conrete.
Those visible from the road are built up higher than the deck in a
simplified pylon shapes and the form and minimal detailing reminds me of
the abutments used on the newer sections of the PA Turnpike from Irwin
to the Ohio line. That still follows with my estimated date.

The railings along the pedestrian walkways appear to be unique...I
haven't seem others like them in the area yet. They include a series of
steel shapes which are similar to the following:
|(|)|(|)|(|)|(|)|(|)|(|
Surprisingly, they have not been replaced by a cyclone fence or jersey
barrier or some other less interesting modern construction.

There are numbers stenciled on the anchor span superstructure on the
Elizabeth end which read (the first two characters are not clearly
legible):
330 196 51
10 86
TYPE 3 SIK ALK

It's obvious that 51 is the PA route number, and 10 86 is the most
recent major rehab date. I'm not sure what the rest means.

The superstructure is painted light blue, which has faded further over
time.

The PA51 roadway leading to the bridge from each direction is four lanes
of concrete (rather old, probably original). And there are several small
bridges which cross the creek paralleling the road on the Elizabeth
side. The smaller bridges were built by PA and have a keystone plaque on
the end of the railing which indicates a date of 1948. These railings
are a common design from the period (used throughout the 30s and later
until the 1960s) which are concrete with vertical openings. These
openings are finger-shaped...square on the bottom, vertical sides,
semicircle at the top.

I haven't finished the research in this area of Allegheny County, but I
appreciate your interest.

--bruce cridlebaugh

Bridges and Tunnels of Allegheny County, PA
"http://www.buildingtechnology.com/bcba/bridges"

JJKITSKO

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Mar 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/30/99
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>I estimate the date at 1948...more research could probably give a firm
>date.

I have an Amoco map of Pittsburgh from 1951 that shows it under construction.
The next map that I have is from 1957 and shows it completed.

Jeff Kitsko
PA Highways: http://hometown.aol.com/PAHIGHWAYS/main.html

GeneJYao

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Mar 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/30/99
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Where did Route 51 go before the Bridge was built?

I assume that it followed what is now Old Clairton Road to the Mon Valley and
went from there to Elizabeth.

JJKITSKO

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Mar 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/30/99
to
>Where did Route 51 go before the Bridge was built?

My maps showed a bridge that was 1/2 mile upstream of the current crossing.

apri...@my-dejanews.com

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Mar 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/30/99
to
In article <370000...@prisma-graphicdesign.com>,

sys...@prisma-graphicdesign.com wrote:
> a visitor to my Bridges website asked about the "Elizabeth Bridge" and I
> thought some of you might be interested in the reply and might be able
> to comment further:
>
> > Do you know when the Elizabeth bridge carrying Route 51 over the Mon at
> > Elizabeth Pa was built
>

Bruce,

As a resident of Elizabeth Township, I believe the date is correct but
something leans me to 1949. If I can recall the history of Elizabeth we did
in 1989. When I was in the 6th grade.

As you know the old Elizabeth Bridge was originally a toll bridge that
carried PA 51 until the opening of the new bridge. The only knowledge of a
bridge being at the previous location is the former tool house on Plum Street
in Elizabeth. (I believe it is Plum St.

PA 51 was originally routed along Plum St. and 2nd and 3rd Aves. in the town.

1986 was a total redecking of the bridge and interchange areas with PA 837 on
the West Elizabeth side.

The concrete on the PA 51 Northbound on-ramp to Elizabeth I believ is still
the original concrete from the 1940's

And Elizabeth is now served twice daily by Greyhound. Yhe thriving metropolis
that we are.


> I estimate the date at 1948...more research could probably give a firm
> date.
>

Adam Prince

"Merge Here...Take your turn"
---PennDot

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

apri...@my-dejanews.com

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Mar 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/30/99
to
In article <19990329204613...@ng-ft1.aol.com>,

gene...@aol.com (GeneJYao) wrote:
> Where did Route 51 go before the Bridge was built?
>
> I assume that it followed what is now Old Clairton Road to the Mon Valley and
> went from there to Elizabeth.
>


It also went through the town of West Elizabeth. The current roadway up and
over Large Hill was I believe part of that construction project.

Also, I was opnce told that part of the proposed Elizabeth Bridge plans was
to have Route 51 tunneled through Large. which is equivalent to Mt.
Washington and Pittsburgh

apri...@my-dejanews.com

unread,
Mar 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/30/99
to
In article <19990329204613...@ng-ft1.aol.com>,
gene...@aol.com (GeneJYao) wrote:
> Where did Route 51 go before the Bridge was built?
>
> I assume that it followed what is now Old Clairton Road to the Mon Valley and
> went from there to Elizabeth.
>


It also went through the town of West Elizabeth. The current roadway up and
over Large Hill was I believe part of that construction project.

Also, I was opnce told that part of the proposed Elizabeth Bridge plans was to

have Route 51 tunneled through Large Hill. Large Hill is equivalent to Mt.

BCBA

unread,
Mar 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/30/99
to
apri...@my-dejanews.com wrote:
>
> In article <370000...@prisma-graphicdesign.com>,
> sys...@prisma-graphicdesign.com wrote:
> > a visitor to my Bridges website asked about the "Elizabeth Bridge" and I
> > thought some of you might be interested in the reply and might be able
> > to comment further:
> >
> > > Do you know when the Elizabeth bridge carrying Route 51 over the Mon at
> > > Elizabeth Pa was built
> >
>
> Bruce,
>
> As a resident of Elizabeth Township, I believe the date is correct but
> something leans me to 1949. If I can recall the history of Elizabeth we did
> in 1989. When I was in the 6th grade.
>
> As you know the old Elizabeth Bridge was originally a toll bridge that
> carried PA 51 until the opening of the new bridge. The only knowledge of a
> bridge being at the previous location is the former tool house on Plum Street
> in Elizabeth. (I believe it is Plum St.
>
> PA 51 was originally routed along Plum St. and 2nd and 3rd Aves. in the town.
>

i assume PA51 approaching from the west toward the old bridge site would
have come through the Scotia Hollow area after crossing Peters Creek and
leaving the Old Lewis Run Rd.

it's not as clear from maps where PA51 would lead east of Elizabeth.
after crossing the old bridge, did it head north through town to follow
Fallen Timbers Creek as the current alignment does?

i was down there yesterday to check out the bridge before i posted my
original message...just in time to see the Pleasant Hills K-Mart burn to
the ground. not good for traffic, but fortunately i know enough
backroads and alternate routes.

i noticed that Elizabeth Waterfront Park (nearly famous!!!) has a large
sign in the style of the Twin Rivers Scenic Road. (i'll be doing the
TRSR sign for the HSOTW soon.) i wonder if there is a good source of
info about that the course of that road. it's curious that the TRSR is
marked on Lincoln Way east of White Oak, Jacks Run PA48 south to PA148
and PA148 to Eden Park Blvd -- i guess it's the best the could do for
through routes that roughly follow the east bank of the Youghiogheny
River...i know that there are other markers elsewhere...it's going to be
an adventure to piece it all together.

--bruce cridlebaugh

apri...@my-dejanews.com

unread,
Mar 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/31/99
to
In article <37011B...@prisma-graphicdesign.com>,
sys...@prisma-graphicdesign.com wrote:

> > PA 51 was originally routed along Plum St. and 2nd and 3rd Aves. in the
town.
> >
>
> i assume PA51 approaching from the west toward the old bridge site would
> have come through the Scotia Hollow area after crossing Peters Creek and
> leaving the Old Lewis Run Rd.

Which would be partialy up Large Hill, then onto what now is Scotia Hollow
Road and following that route into West Elizabeth.

Either that or it took a left onto what is now Worthington Ave. (Millers
Grove) foll owed that route until Seventh Ave. in Clairton where it bared
left. Followed 7th Ave. for 1/4 mile to a right on St. Clair Ave. for about
1.5 miles to PA 837 and was multiplexed with the route southwards towards
West Elizabeth.

Also, many current streches of PA 51 upgraded to 4 lanes (divided or
undivided) in the 40's 50's and 60's.

>
> it's not as clear from maps where PA51 would lead east of Elizabeth.
> after crossing the old bridge, did it head north through town to follow
> Fallen Timbers Creek as the current alignment does?

From what my grandfather mentioned, what is now the on-ramp to PA 51 South in
Elizabeth was the old alaignment of 51. So possibly they could have widened
the road from Elizabeth to Roberts Hollow Rd. (past Payday's Supermarket) and
then built the bridge. I secretly call the section of 51 from Large Hill to
Payday's as the Clairton/Elizabeth Bypass.

At one time Roberts Hollow Rd. was PA 906

> i was down there yesterday to check out the bridge before i posted my
> original message...just in time to see the Pleasant Hills K-Mart burn to
> the ground. not good for traffic, but fortunately i know enough
> backroads and alternate routes.

Very good! If you used Payne Hill Road, Note that the road will be truncated
halfway up the hill from PA 51 to make room forthe ramps of the Mon Fayette
Expressway.


>
> i noticed that Elizabeth Waterfront Park (nearly famous!!!) has a large
> sign in the style of the Twin Rivers Scenic Road. (i'll be doing the
> TRSR sign for the HSOTW soon.) i wonder if there is a good source of
> info about that the course of that road. it's curious that the TRSR is
> marked on Lincoln Way east of White Oak, Jacks Run PA48 south to PA148
> and PA148 to Eden Park Blvd -- i guess it's the best the could do for
> through routes that roughly follow the east bank of the Youghiogheny
> River...i know that there are other markers elsewhere...it's going to be
> an adventure to piece it all together.
>

This is the routing I know from the Lincoln Way/PA 48 intersection. It
follows PA 48 South across the Boston Bridge (where it has a spur leading to
the Boston Riverfront Park (Yough River Trail Access) continuing through
Elizabeth Township it then is routed on Simpson Howell Road to Round Hill
Road where it turns right (but there are no more sign after that)

I have two guess on how it continues One guess is that it goes alongs Round
Hill Road crossing over PA 48 to PA 51 where it goes to Roberts Hollow Road
and follows various roads in Forward Township to the SR 2001/PA 136
intersection across the River from Mon City

Guess No. 2 Once it hits PA 51 it follows PA 51 until Elizabeth, where it hits
the other section on the Scenic Route.

> --bruce cridlebaugh

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