Rating:
2 votes

Leet Street Bridge

Photos 

Overview

Photo taken by James Baughn in July 2009

Enlarge

BH Photo #272225

Map 

Street Views 

Description 

The bridge was constructed in 1886 by the Morse Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio as Bridge No. 20 of the Pittsburgh, Youngstown & Ashtabula Railroad at Lawrence Junction, Pennsylvania. The bridge was relocated in 1904 to Leetsdale where it was widened by the Pittsburgh Steel Construction Company to accommodate a roadway over the Pennsylvania Railroad.

A concrete beam girder bridge was added to the northeastern approach in 1946 to accommodate the four-lane Ohio River Boulevard (State Route 65). It was modernized in 1985 with new railings and bridge deck.

An inspection in October 2013 found severe structural deterioration and the Leet Street Bridge was closed to all automobile traffic.

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Norfolk Southern Railroad and PA 65 on Leet Street in Leetsdale
Location
Leetsdale, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Status
Intact but closed to all traffic
History
Originally built 1886 by the Morse Bridge Co. at Lawrence Junction; relocated here in 1904
Builder
- Morse Bridge Co. of Youngstown, Ohio
Design
Main span: Pin-connected, 7-panel Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 105.0 ft.
Total length: 108.9 ft.
Deck width: 19.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 21.2 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.57108, -80.21696   (decimal degrees)
40°34'16" N, 80°13'01" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/566279/4491439 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Ambridge
Inventory numbers
PA 02 7441 0000 1001 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
PANBI 02610 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 30263 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 08/2009)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 9.0 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2006)
800

Update Log 

  • February 15, 2017: Updated by Sherman Cahal: Added text
  • December 28, 2013: New photos from James Baughn
  • December 25, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added city & fixed wayward coords
  • October 29, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • November 12, 2010: New Street View added by Jason Smith

Sources 

Comments 

Leet Street Bridge
Posted May 30, 2017, by Anonymous

It's gone!

Leet Street Bridge
Posted February 16, 2017, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Thanks Sherman.Any news on the future of this bridge?

Leet Street Bridge
Posted February 15, 2017, by Sherman Cahal (shermancahal [at] gmail [dot] com)

Still closed.

Leet Street Bridge
Posted February 1, 2014, by george oakley (georegeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

does anyone know the current status of this structurally deficient bridge?please let me know.thanks.

Leet Street Bridge
Posted December 28, 2013, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Tony,

The Pennsylvania Historic Bridge inventory listed a ton of truss bridges that should have been eligible as ineligible. I have fought against this on my website and in conversation with people for years. I mean, look at the Hulton Bridge in this county... that's "not eligible" either! I think the inventory that they use to determine eligibility is not only old and outdated, I think it may have been a case where the consultant needed to produce what the customer (PennDOT) wanted... and I doubt PennDOT wanted a lot of eligible bridges.

Art,

The last time Norfolk Southern offered a historic truss bridge to an owner they included a massive fee of $60,000. So instead of getting money you have to give money. Here is the bridge they offered: http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowse...

Leet Street Bridge
Posted December 27, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I sent an email to the reporter suggesting that they look into restoration a little further and that it is certainly eligible for historic status, whether they pursue that or not.

It is not easy to find the kind of money that these bridges deserve. For too long demo was lowballed to hinder restoration...much easier to torch it and pull it out of the river.

The engineering education needs to come forward and we need to make strides next year in revising some of those AASHTO standards or guidelines that have been proven to have other solutions.

I can tell you that we were able to beef up Bunker Mill Bridge when Nels suggested that we use 40' stringers. By adding that structural stability over three floor beams, and beefing up the three center beams we are able to meet the necessary loading requirements without having to resort to limiting the width. Kalona people are stepping forward with cash to get their project done and we are meeting all of the requirements for restoration without having to go through SHPO/DOT delays. It would be one thing if they didn't spend most of their time getting up to speed in order to comment.

So we continue the education, hoping that people see the value that NSRGA/W"B can bring to the table; working with the best craftsmen and engineers under the umbrella of a non-profit with a construction/consulting arm. Who would have thought.

Leet Street Bridge
Posted December 27, 2013, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Tony, historic status has little to do with reality when dealing with corporations and governments. If anything, it is perceived as a headache. Historians and enthusiasts are irritants. The key is to convince these entities that repairing/maintaining these bridges is a better solution than replacement.

Looking at what Julie and Nels are doing with the Bunker Mill bridge makes me think that the solution is to put together a system/process and a crew that could outcompete the current way of thinking. For example, if this bridge could be restored, including lead abatement, for a similar cost to having it removed and replaced with a pedestrian bridge, one could argue that it would be a functionally superior result at a competitive cost. This would make sense to the bean counters and mitigate the historic status issue.

If there were examples of success that we could point to (or once there are several successful outcomes), it would make it easier to convince others of this approach.

Also, I suspect that most civil engineers that are tasked with providing a load rating for an old bridge have little confidence in the older materials or little experience in determining how to do the calculations for old truss types. This results in the engineers putting in way too conservative of a fudge factor in order to protect themselves when they sign off on the load rating, thus making the bridge obsolete due to the restricted load rating.

Regards,

Art S.

Leet Street Bridge
Posted December 26, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Not eligible for historic status?... HOGWASH!

Leet Street Bridge
Posted December 25, 2013, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

NS is willing to pay $77K to remove this bridge. I bet it can be lifted and properly disassembled for that. Depending on what it needs, Julie and Nels might be able to get NS to spend a little more (the $77K removal cost combined with the cost of the replacement pedestrian bridge might be enough) and have it restored!

Anybody thoughts on this idea?

Regards and Merry Christmas to all!

Art S.

Leet Street Bridge
Posted December 25, 2013, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)