13 votes

Smithfield Street Bridge



Bridge repainted in original colors in 1995.

Photo taken by Rick Mattioni in July 2000


BH Photo #125661

Street Views 


3rd bridge at this location, first was a covered bridge that was replaced by a suspension bridge. When the new bridge was constructed beginning in 1881, it was built 20ft higher and directly over the suspension bridge that remained in use until the new bridge was finished.

The original 1883 bridge was a sigle-lane with two trusses. A narrow 3rd truss line added in 1891 to accommodate street cars. In 1911 the bridge was widened yet again to double (46ft) the original width. Finally, in 1915 the cast and wrought iron portals were replaced with the ones present today.

The bridge is made of steel, which was a relatively unknown material in the early 1880's. It remains today as the original and oldest steel bridge.


Two-span lenticular through truss bridge over Monongahela River on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Open to four lanes of traffic
Built 1883 under the direction of engineer Gustav Lindenthal
- Gustav Lindenthal of Brno, Cisleithania, Austro-Hungarian Empire (Now known as Brno, South Moravia, Czech Republic)
- Lucius Engineering Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Builder of pony approach span)
- Pittsburgh Railways Company (PRCo)
- Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT)
- Streetcar
Lenticular through truss
Length of largest span: 359.9 ft.
Total length: 1,176.9 ft.
Deck width: 42.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 17.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 21, 1974
Also called
"Kissing Fish" Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.43486, -80.00200   (decimal degrees)
40°26'05" N, 80°00'07" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/584646/4476502 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Pittsburgh West
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
Inventory numbers
PA 02 3027 0020 0000 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
NRHP 74001745 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
PANBI 01742 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 30308 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of July 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 44.6 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • February 14, 2022: New photos from Bambi Sharkoman
  • January 28, 2022: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • November 1, 2021: New photo from Dave King
  • September 8, 2021: New photos from Brian Manville
  • July 8, 2020: New photos from Tony Dillon
  • November 17, 2017: New photo from Dana and Kay Klein
  • January 18, 2017: New photo from Dave King
  • December 1, 2016: New photo from Dana and Kay Klein
  • November 17, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • July 24, 2016: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • May 25, 2015: Updated by Luke: Added categories "Rail-and-Road", "Railroad", "Streetcar", "Pittsburgh Railways", "Port Authority of Allegheny County"
  • August 16, 2014: New photos from Patrick S. O'Donnell
  • November 2, 2012: New photo from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • November 19, 2010: New photos from Jason Smith
  • November 23, 2008: New photos from James Baughn
  • October 8, 2008: New photo from Rick Mattioni
  • February 26, 2007: Posted HAER photos

Related Bridges 


  • Wikipedia
  • HAER PA-2 - Smithfield Street Bridge, Spanning Monongahela River on Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA
  • Rick Mattioni
  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com
  • Todd Wilson
  • Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • Patrick S. O'Donnell - 1 [dot] 991km [at] comcast [dot] net
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Dana and Kay Klein
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Brian Manville
  • Geoff Hubbs
  • Jesse Sharkoman Berube - jesseberube5 [at] gmail [dot] com


Smithfield Street Bridge
Posted December 4, 2019, by George A Oakley (Georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I read in the local paper where I live that this bridge was reopened early Monday after transportation department inspectors determined it was safe to use after a barge hit it causing the bridge to be closed for several hours.There was no injuries on the barge or damage to the bridge.There was no word about what caused the barge to hit the bridge.

Smithfield Street Bridge
Posted February 5, 2015, by Gil Graham (rgg [at] reagan [dot] com)

This is perhaps my favorite bridge in the USA. If any bridge enthusiast has not seen it, put it on your bucket list to take a walk across. The engineering attributes and fabrication details are wonderful.

Smithfield Street Bridge
Posted October 12, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] co )

A nice little write-up on the Smithfield Street Bridge:


Smithfield Street Bridge
Posted March 27, 2007, by Randy Brush

I know about Smithfield Street Bridge. it is very old bridge. it is over 125 years old. wow It is good.

Smithfield Street Bridge
Posted October 12, 2006, by Cheryl Towers (cyberjyber [at] earthlink [dot] net)

I just learned that the Smithfield Street Bridge, a double lenticular truss design, is known to old time Pittsburghers as the "kissing fish bridge". For more on Pittsburgh bridges, see "The Bridges of Pittsburgh" by Bob Regan with photos by Tim Fabian published in June 2006 by The Local History Company. (Full disclosure: I'm one of the publishers!)