The Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge carries 11th Street over the Ohio River between Ambridge and Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. It was originally referred to as the Ambridge-Woodlawn Bridge.
The boroughs of Ambridge and Woodlawn were connected by a ferry operated by the Jones & Loughlin tin plant in Woodlawn. 11 As early as May 1914, proposals were made to add a second ferry, 10 but a fixed crossing was long desired due to the rapid growth of the mills at the American Bridge Company in Ambridge. Initial bridge plans from 1917 centered on four proposals: 9
- A bridge connecting Ambridge and Woodlawn at a cost of $738,000
- A bridge connecting Baden with Aliquippa at a cost of $936,000
- A suspension bridge connecting Ambridge and Woodlawn at a cost of $525,000
- A suspension bridge connecting Baden with Aliquippa at a cost of $665,000
The bridge proposal was tabled due to the onset of World War I and revived by county commissioners after they with the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss the bridge project on November 20, 1924. 12 A bond issue of $1.5 million was submitted to the county voters for consideration which passed. On December 12, Rep. Thomas W. Phillips introduced a bill in Congress to give the county the authority to build the proposed bridge, 7 which was passed in February 1925. 4 The crossing received approval from the Army Corps of Engineers in September. 13
The American Bridge Company was given a contract to construct the bridge, which would include a cantilevered Baltimore through trusses, a Warren through truss, and two stringer spans that would be manufactured from American Bridge’s Aliquippa Works at the cost of $609,000. 15
A $145,400 contract to construct the Woodlawn piers was let to the Dravo Contracting Company of Pittsburgh on February 8, 1926. 6 The work, which also included realigning the Ambridge approach to 11th Street, was to be completed by July 1. Dravo completed work on the piers on August 14. 16
American Bridge received approval to place falsework in the river for the construction of the main span on August 4. 15 The company was required to provide a clear channel span of 530 feet at all times. Work was set to begin on August 15 and be completed by November 15. The steel superstructure was erected at the cost of $337,500.
The $570,648 3 / $750,000 2 Ambridge-Woodlawn Bridge opened to the public behind schedule on December 11, 1927. It was originally set to open earlier on May 1 8 17 and then July 4. 5 The official dedication ceremonies were held on December 29, which included a crowd of 10,000 and a line of vehicles two miles that stretched down the new approach roadway in Woodlawn. 3 A figure of George Washington was mounted on a pedestal on one end of the bridge to commemorate his activities in the county while a life statue of a doughboy, paid for by the local American Legion post, marked the other end. 18
The Ambrose-Aliquippa Bridge underwent a $16.6 million rehabilitation project by the Trumbull Corporation of Pittsburgh beginning in December 2011, 19 which required the closure of the crossing between March 2012 to November 15 and March 4, 2013 20 to November 14. 21 Work included blasting and painting the substructure and superstructure with primer and paint, repairing substructure steel in spans two to six, repairing all gusset plates, the removal and replacement of the bridge deck, new parapets, repairs to pier one and nine and the abutments, and new expansion dams.
- State: Pennsylvania
- Route: 11th Street
- Type: Girder or Beam, Baltimore Through Truss, Warren Through Truss
- Status: Active - Automobile
- Total Length: 1,730 feet
- Main Span Length: 540 feet
- Roadway Width: 27 feet
- Total Height: 90 feet
- Above Vertical Clearance: 18 feet
- Navigational Clearance:
- Holth, Nathan. “Ambridge Bridge.” HistoricBridges.org, 1 Jul. 2014, article.
- “Inter-borough Bridge Opening Break ‘Settled’.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12 Dec. 1927, p. 3.
- “Ambridge Span Is Officially Thrown Open.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 30 Dec. 1927, p. 7.
- “Ambridge-Woodlawn Bridge is Authorized.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 22 Feb. 1925, p. D10.
- Gordon, Gertrude. “Ambridge Proud of New Bridge Which Will Link Industrial Borough With Woodlawn.” Pittsburgh Press, 17 Mar. 1927, p. 40.
- “Over-Night Briefs.” Daily Notes [Canonsburg], 9 Feb. 1926, p. 3.
- “Ambridge-Woodlawn Bridge Bill Offered by T.W. Phillips.” New Castle News, 12 Dec. 1924, p. 33.
- “New Bridge Will Open on May 1.” Evening Review [East Liverpool], 15 Mar. 1927, p. 3.
- “News of Rivers.” Pittsburgh Daily Post, 13 Jan. 1917, p. 5.
- “Pittsburgh Company Increases Stock.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11 May 1914, p. 6.
- “Short Lines Making a Protest.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6 May 1914, p. 12.
- “Ambridge-Woodlawn Bridge is Proposed.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 21 Nov. 1924, p. 9.
- “News of Rivers.” Pittsburgh Daily Post, 4 Sept. 1925, p. 17.
- “News of the Rivers.” Pittsburgh Daily Post, 24 Jul. 1926, p. 21.
- “News of the Rivers.” Pittsburgh Daily Post, 5 Aug. 1926, p. 16.
- “News of the Rivers.” Pittsburgh Daily Post, 12 Aug. 1926, p. 19.
- “New Bridge Will Open On May 1.” Evening Review [East Liverpool], 15 Mar. 1927, p. 3.
- “New Beaver County Bridge Over Ohio is Near Completion.” New Castle News, 22 Mar. 1927, p. 13.
- Belculfine, Lexi. “Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge opens for now.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 29 Nov. 2012.
- Fuoco, Linda Wilson. “Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge reopening delayed.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 31 Oct. 2013.
- Morgan, Rachel. “Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge reopens.” Beaver County Times, 14 Nov. 2013.