Monday, May 22, 2017

NS/Pennsy OC Bridge over Ohio River in Pittsburgh, PA

(1915 Bridge Hunter, 1890 Bridge HunterHistoric Bridges)

This is known as the Ohio Connecting Railroad Bridge or the Brunot Island Railroad Bridge.

I learned that this bridge is 70' above the water because somehow a woman drove her SUV onto the bridge and then fell to her death when the vehicle landed upside down in 20 feet of water. But her dog and cat survived. [post-gazette] I studied the satellite images and could not find a grade crossing of the rails in the vicinity. No wonder the police were "mystified."

3D Satellite

Street View, 416' back channel span

Ted Gregory updated

Please follow the above Historic Bridges link to read how they used the material in the 416' foot span to cantilever the 525' main channel span during its construction to keep the shipping channel open. The piers were built wide enough for a double track because it was expected that the single-track through trusses would eventually be replaced by double-track trusses.

The Bridge Hunter page for the 1915 bridge shows the main span being floated into place. This contradicts the cantilevered construction technique described in Historic Bridges. So I paged through the eBook trying to find the picture. It turns out the picture on the 1915 Bridge Hunter webpage is wrong, but the picture being on the 1890 webpage is correct. This is how the initial single-track span was built along the shore and then floated in place.
eBook, p 634
Left Half of p634

Right Half of p634


Tim Shanahan shared AltoonaWorks's photo.
6/2017 - A coal train rolls across the OC Bridge in Pittsburgh. It's taking a righthand turn down the Isle Connector heading for the Conemaugh Line.
[OC is the "Ohio Connector"]
Craig Sturgeon posted
Westbound coke from the massive plant at Clairton (PA) passes through one of the giant spans of the Ohio Connecting Bridge over the Ohio River at Brunot Island,PA (near Pittsburgh). September 2001.
[That truss is massive. It makes the locomotives look rather dinky.]
Daria Phoebe Brashear photo
Norfolk Southern "Illinois Terminal" heritage unit makes an appearance heading west out of Pittsburgh today on 554 (though this shot actually looks west at a train crossing a bridge compass east to do it!). Ohio Connecting Bridge, North Side.
Raymond Adomonis shared

Ted Gregory posted four photos with the comment:
OC BridgePittsburgh, PA.See my comment and links below for details.This bridge had an elevator that lowered coal cars onto Brunot Island for dumping.
Ted Gregory This is literally one of my favorite railroad bridges anywhere.
It was built by my favorite railroad, the Pennsy.
So when the wife and I visited Pittsburgh in July 2015, we made it a point to photograph it.

Note there are two massive through truss structures. The closest truss, and the sideview, is 508 feet long and spans the Ohio River main channel. The second is 406 ft long and spans an equally wide oxbow back channel of the Ohio.
From bank to bank the structures are roughly 2600 feet long. Note that does not include the length of the wye approaches which add another 2000 feet+/- which are mixture of plate girders on concrete piers and steel trestles with steel bents.
There is a mixture of different truss structures in between the through trusses that span Brunot Island.
We are looking southwest in this shot.
Note the junction on the bridge and the wye that spins off to the left (southeast).
There was a similar wye on the opposite end of the bridge, the leg to the northwest has been removed, but the double track main continues to the southeast along the west bank.

1 comment:

  1. I got curious about whether there was railroad service to the island's power station. There was—an article alludes to "railroad tracks" and historic maps show sidings on the island. So how did railroad cars get down from the 70-foot-high bridge?

    Turns out there was an elevated siding, connected to a railroad car elevator. Scroll down for images: