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Hot Metal Bridge

Built in the early 1900s, Pittsburgh's Hot Metal Bridge was used by steel mills on either side of the Monongahela River to transport molten steel by rail. The bridge had been abandoned for approximately 30 years until the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh envisioned a future for it as a pedestrian and bicycle crossing connecting the former steel mill properties, which have been redeveloped into offices, residences, restaurants, and shops. The aim was to retain the historic character of the Hot Metal Bridge while using it to encourage bicycling and walking for commuting, errands, and recreation.


WSP USA provided planning, engineering and environmental services for rehabilitation of the 1,114-foot (340-meter) bridge. Work included reconstructing the end spans, rehabilitating the structural steel, installing new concrete decks, and relocating utilities. To safely carry pedestrians and bicyclists across Second Avenue, which runs along the north bank of the river, the team designed a new steel truss structure that echoes the design of the Hot Metal Bridge. The Second Avenue Bridge is supported by a complex pier design that enables convenient access to the Eliza Furnace Trail in both directions, a priority for bicycle groups.

The project received the American Road and Transportation Builders Association 2008 Globe Award for Environmental Excellence and the American Society of Highway Engineers 2008 Outstanding Engineering Award.