Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Pittsburgh has so many bridges that in some cases they even have relatives!

In this week's photo segment, our resident Pittsburgh photographic specialist, Gary Gayda, brings you the most famous of the so-called "Three Sisters", the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

Once known simply as the "Sixth Street Bridge", we're sure that you probably never realized that the Clemente Bridge is now the fourth bridge to cross the river at that location!

The first bridge went up in 1819, the second in 1857, the third in 1892 and the present bridge was erected in 1927. Believe it or not, the third bridge was actually somehow floated down the river (presumably in sections) and relocated to a spot between Coraopolis and Neville Island to make way for the present structure. This job obviously predated Penndot.

While the first three bridges lasted 38, 35 and 35 years, engineering obviously took a major leap forward as the Clemente Bridge is now 82 years old with no end in sight (thank goodness for that). But in 1927 they built three bridges, all using the same basic blueprint (it was cheaper that way).

The "Three Sisters", as they came to be known, are the only trio of identical bridges in the entire United States. The other two are now named "Rachel Carson" and "Andy Warhol". Two of the three bridges are obviously multiple-gendered or may simply be cross-dressers. While this may surprising news to some concerning Roberto Clemente, nothing Andy Warhol would do ever surprised anyone.

The present-day "Roberto Clemente Bridge" was renamed on August 6, 1998 in honor of the Pirates Hall-of-Fame right fielder and humanitarian who died in a plane crash at sea while delivering food and medicine to Nicaragua.

As always, if you are interested in a print, contact Gary Gayda directly at: GMGayda@yahoo.com. tell him the photo number along with the size that you are interested in. He will get back to you forthwith.

Now, without further adieu, another familiar Pittsburgh landmark, the multiple-gendered "Roberto Clemente Bridge", this week's feature on:


#8 "Nighttime Lighting Effects, Roberto Clemente Bridge Circa 2009"

ABOVE: Colors of a beautiful city reflect off the placid waters of the Allegheny River leaving anglers to wonder just how many prize bass are really in there?

#9 "Nighttime Crossing of the Allegheny"

ABOVE: The underpinnings of the Roberto Clemente Bridge disappear into a black void while the upper towers glow in beautiful lighting that was provided by the Duquesne Light Co.

#10 "Angry Sister"

ABOVE: This was obviously not a good day for the sister curiously named "Roberto". So what's in a name, anyway?