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The bridges of the Pittsburgh Marathon and other stats and facts

Posted on | April 29, 2014 | No Comments

We love Pittsburgh. We love events. When the two intermingle, there’s a lot more to love. Below we’ve gathered some interesting facts and stats about this weekend’s Pittsburgh Marathon.

Runners of the Pittsburgh Marathon will cross five different bridges. In order of the marathon route, they are:

Birmingham Bridge

  • Opened:  1977
  • Length: 1,662 ft.
  • Crosses: Monongahela River
  • Design:Steel bowstring arch bridge


A construction worker who had pinned his leg near the top of the span had to have his leg amputated  by a surgeon, who was hoisted up to the span,  in order to save his life.


16th Street Bridge (David McCullough Bridge)

  • Opened: 1923
  • Length: 1,900 ft.
  • Crosses: Allegheny River
  • Design:Through arch bridge


David McCullough is a Pittsburgh native, graduate of Shady Side Academy and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, McCullough received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. McCullough has written “The Johnstown Flood,” “1776,” and “John Adams,” among many others.


7th Street Bridge (Andy Warhol Bridge)

  • Opened: 1926
  • Length: 1,061 ft.
  • Crosses: Allegheny River
  • Design:Self-anchored suspension


The company that built the 7th Street Bridge (and 6th & 9th) also built, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Oakland Bay Bridge and the Macarthur Causeway in Miami.


9th Street Bridge (Rachel Carson Bridge)

  • Opened: 1926
  • Length: 840 ft
  • Crosses: Allegheny River
  • Design:Self-anchored suspension


The Three Sisters (6th, 7th and 9th Street bridges) are self-anchored suspension bridges and are significant because they are the only trio of nearly identical bridges — as well as the first self-anchored suspension spans — built in the United States.

West End Bridge

  • Opened: 1932
  • Length: 1,978.75ft
  • Crosses: Ohio River
  • Design: Bowstring Arch


The Riverlife Task Force conducted a competition in the spring of 2006 to design a pedestrian bridge across the Ohio attached to the West End Bridge. The winning design was submitted by Endres Ware in association with OLIN, Ammann & Whitney, Auerbach Glasow, and RWDI; however, there is not yet a budget or timelime for actual construction of the winning design.


Other Marathon Facts:

  • Neighborhoods by mile marker: mile 1, Strip District; mile 4, North Side; mile 7, West End; mile 9, South Side; mile 12, Oakland; mile 14, Shadyside; mile 16, Point Breeze, mile 17, Homewood; mile 19, East Liberty; mile 20, Highland Park; mile 22, Friendship; mile 23, Bloomfield; mile 24 Strip District; mile 26, Downtown
  • Runners will climb 255 vertical feet: Lowest point, Downtown – 730 ft above sea level; Highest point, Point Breeze – 985 ft above sea level
  • Runners will participate from all 50 states and 18 countries




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