Association for Bridge Construction & Design (ABCD)
American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Pennsylvania
The Homestead Grays Bridge, also known as the Homestead High Level Bridge, was originally built in 1936 in Pennsylvania.
The bridge spans the Monongahela River between Homestead Borough and the southern tip of Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. The Waterfront, a 256-acre mixed-use development, is located under the south portion of the bridge.
Originally built in 1936, The Waterfront area was a 1225 housing development known as the Ward. A few years later, the United States Steel Company displaced the homes when the U.S. Government ordered the expansion of its steel mill to help support World War II.
The mill closed in 1986 and the site was demolished by 1998. In 2000, the riverfront property was purchased by a real estate company who began the redevelopment of what is now known as The Waterfront. Today, The Waterfront is an open-air shopping center and home to stores, restaurants, hotels, entertainment, and community events.
One of the unique features of the main bridge is the Wichert trusses, developed by E.M. Wichert of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1930.
Before computers, the interaction of forces on spans crossing multiple supports was difficult to calculate. By introducing an open, hinged quadrilateral over the intermediate piers, the Wichert truss allows each span to be calculated independently.
The Homestead Grays Bridge was the first bridge to use the Wichert truss. Since that time, there have only been a few bridges built in the world using this truss design.
ms consultants initially started work with the Homestead Grays Bridge in 1988. At that time, the Allegheny County Department of Public Works (ACDPW) hired ms to perform an in-depth inspection of the bridge, prepare a detailed report indicating the condition of the structure, and develop a method of widening the four lanes.
The complete Homestead Grays Bridge project included:
All construction work was performed while maintaining two lanes of traffic on the bridge at all times.