Pittsburgh readies ceremony to welcome McCullough Bridge

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The 16th Street Bridge in Pittsburgh will close for several hours starting 11 a.m. Sunday. When it reopens, it will be the David McCullough Bridge.

A rededication ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. on the bridge, at 16th Street and Penn Avenue. Mr. McCullough, the renowned author, historian and Pittsburgh native who turns 80 Sunday, is scheduled to attend.

The ceremony and a birthday celebration in Mr. McCullough's honor that follows at 3 p.m. at the Heinz History Center are free and open to the public. The birthday party includes admission to all exhibits at the center. The Shady Side Academy Jazz Combo will perform, and birthday cake and cupcakes will be served.

After that, Mr. McCullough will give a talk on "Bridging the Past and Present." Tickets to that event are sold out.

The bridge is expected to reopen by 5 p.m. While it is closed, Port Authority will detour buses on the 54 North Side-Oakland-South Side route. The detour will follow Cedar Avenue and Anderson Street, cross the Rachel Carson Bridge and follow the 10th Street Bypass, Penn Avenue, 16th Street and Liberty Avenue. Stops at East Ohio Street at Middle Street, East Ohio at James Street, East Ohio at 16th, 16th at Progress Street and 16th at Penn will not be served.

The 1,900-foot-long bridge spanning the Allegheny River between the North Side and Strip District is senior to Mr. McCullough, having opened in October 1923.

Mr. McCullough is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He has narrated several documentaries, including Ken Burns' "The Civil War," and was longtime host of the PBS series "American Experience."

He has written biographies of presidents John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman and books about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Johnstown Flood.

After historian Michael Connors of Chalfant proposed naming a bridge for Mr. McCullough, Post-Gazette columnist Brian O'Neill suggested the 16th Street Bridge. Allegheny County Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko, D-Regent Square, who represents Mr. McCullough's old neighborhood, introduced the legislation, which was approved in December.

neigh_city - Transportation

Jon Schmitz: jschmitz@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1868. Visit the PG's transportation blog, The Roundabout, at www.post-gazette.com/Roundabout. Twitter: @pgtraffic.


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