The Smithfield Street Bridge is a sweeping statement of a river crossing, designed by Gustav Lindenthal and constructed between 1881 and 1883. It’s the third bridge at this location, the first was destroyed in a large city fire and the second wasn’t substantial enough to deal with the increase in traffic.
Looking back towards South Side, this bridge is made from steel, not unexpected from the Steel City and it’s the second oldest bridge made from this material in the United States. What is more surprising is that some wit from the local transport authority thought in the 1990s that they should demolish this bridge to replace it with a new one. Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed and the structure was instead repaired.
Originally the city’s trams went over the bridge, but these were replaced by Pittsburgh’s light rail system which takes a different route.
The bridge at the end of the nineteenth century, which was widened on a couple of occasions.