You’ve seen the bridges around the city. You’ve heard the names. But you may not know the story behind some of Pittsburgh’s most iconic bridges. Here’s a bit of the history behind the names.
Three Sisters Bridges
Pittsburgh’s Three Sisters Bridges span the Allegheny River and connect the North Shore to downtown. With their bright yellow construction, these three bridges are synonymous with the Pittsburgh skyline. They are self-anchored eye-bar suspension bridges, connecting at 6th, 7th and 9th streets, and are named after three famous Pittsburghers.
Rachel Carson Bridge
Rachel Carson was born in Springdale, PA, near the Allegheny River in 1907. She attended Chatham University (at the time known as the Pennsylvania College for Women) and majored in biology. Carson then attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins University researching zoology.
An environmental activist, she published several critically acclaimed books including “Under the Sea-Wind” and “The Sea Around Us.” She was outspoken about agricultural science and the long-term consequences of using pesticides. In 1963, she testified in front of Congress, calling for new policies to protect the environment and public health.
The Rachel Carson Bridge, also known as the 9th Street Bridge, was opened in 1927. It was named after Carson on Earth Day in 2006.
Roberto Clemente Bridge
With over 18 big league seasons under his belt, Roberto Clemente is considered one of the greatest professional baseball players of all time. In 1955, he made his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Clemente received 12 Gold Glove Awards, 12 All-Star Game selections, two World Series Championships, and had over 3,000 hits during his major league career. In 1972, Clemente passed away on Dec. 31 in a plane crash headed to Nicaragua to provide aid to earthquake victims. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.
The Roberto Clemente Bridge, also known as the 6th Street Bridge, was constructed in 1859. It was rebuilt most recently in 1927 to allow for more traffic needs. If you’re headed to PNC Park for a Pirate’s game, the roads are usually closed to cars to allow foot traffic into the park. This is a great spot for the perfect view of PNC Park and downtown Pittsburgh.
Andy Warhol Bridge
Andy Warhol is a renowned artist credited with pioneering the Pop Art movement. Born in Pittsburgh in 1928, Warhol made a career for himself in New York City. Famous for his silkscreens of cultural icons, such as Elvis, Campbell’s soup cans, and Marilyn Monroe, Warhol’s work explored the relationship between art and consumer culture, mass media and celebrity news. His work mediums include painting, sculpture, print, photography, wallpaper and film.
The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is a seven-floor art collection that spans Warhol’s artistic output from the 1940s to 1980s.
The Andy Warhol Bridge, also known as the Seventh Street Bridge, was built in 1926. It was named for Warhol on March 18, 2005, as part of the 10th anniversary of the Andy Warhol Museum. As an Oakland native, Warhol supposedly walked across this bridge with his family in his youth.