The 10th Street Bridge (which a reader pointed out is nicknamed the Phillip Murray Bridge after the first president of the United Steelworkers of America) was the last of the bridges over the Monongahela River for me to walk. Or so I thought. It turns out that the Liberty Bridge also has a sidewalk despite the fact that it is a freeway bridge like the Veteran’s Bridge (see post). So I’ll have to come back to the Liberty Bridge at some point.
I delayed my walk of the 10th Street Bridge in part because it seemed like an awkward one to get to and from. One end is in the middle of the South Side, but the other connects to the Armstrong Tunnel, which would obviously not be pedestrian friendly. Last week, I finally went out and walked it and as I hoped, it turns out there is a pedestrian access over the hill to the high-bus-traffic corridor of Fifth and Forbes avenues in the form of a giant staircase that I will address in another post. This end of the 10th Street Bridge was more well-connected than I had anticipated. Not only do the stairs provide access to the top of the hill when Duquesne University sits, but there is also access to a parking lot down by the river which also connects to the Three Rivers Trail System. The best proof of this bridge’s connectivity is the number of other pedestrians I saw walking the bridge. While I did not keep a count, I noticed that there was a comparatively high level of pedestrian traffic. It certainly wasn’t as much as the Smithfield Street Bridge (see post), but it was comparable to or higher than that on the other downtown bridges.
My favorite part about this bridge was the dinosaurs painted at the top of the southern tower. I couldn’t tell if they were official or freelance graffiti, but it seemed appropriate given that Pittsburgh is famous for dinosaurs. Andrew Carnegie brought the first dinosaur skeletons on display anywhere in the world to his natural history museum. I found someone else wrote a post about the dinosaurs on the bridge, which the artist apparently calls geese, which suggests that the painting may not have been officially sanctioned.
The post mentioned above about the dinosaurs also comments on the “rusty” condition of the bridge. While I didn’t notice the rust much (it wasn’t nearly as bad as the 28th Street Bridge), I did notice the condition of the sidewalk. I thought my theory that the top of the sidewalk had worn away to expose the metal framework supporting the structure rather farfetched, as how could the entire sidewalk (on both sides as far as I could tell) wear out so evenly. Yet, I cannot think of any other sidewalk I’ve walked that looks like this and given the other bloggers comments on the poor physical condition of the bridge, perhaps my idea isn’t totally crazy?