Learn From the Past: Sister Bridges

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With more bridges than any other city in the world, Pittsburgh earns its nickname the "City of Bridges." Our city also lays claim to the only trio of identical bridges in the world. Built between 1924 and 1928 by the American Bridge Co., the Sixth, Seventh and Ninth street "three sister bridges" connect Downtown to the North Side.

Each bridge employs a self-anchored suspension system and steel eye-bars instead of traditional cables. At the time of their opening, the bridges were three of only four bridges in the world that utilized the self-anchored suspension system.

Over the past 20 years, Allegheny County renamed each of the bridges in recognition of famous Pittsburghers.

In 1998, the Sixth Street Bridge (bottom, below) was re-christened the Roberto Clemente Bridge, in honor of the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame right fielder. Millions of fans walk across it to PNC Park, Heinz Field and the North Shore.

County officials renamed the Seventh Street Bridge the Andy Warhol Bridge in 2005 in celebration of the 10th anniversary of The Warhol Museum, just two blocks away. And on Earth Day in 2006, the Ninth Street Bridge became the Rachel Carson Bridge in recognition of the world famous environmentalist and author of "Silent Spring."

Today, these three suspension bridges carry between 12,000 and 23,000 motorists each day. All three have been painted a bright Aztec Gold as an homage to the city's official colors and to showcase the bridges' proximity to Downtown's Golden Triangle.

Visitors to the Heinz History Center can learn more about Pittsburgh's bridges as part of the "Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation" exhibition. For more information, visit www.heinzhistorycenter.org.


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