The Story of Roads and Bridges in Pittsburgh

DECEMBER 11, 2018 
Speaker: Todd Wilson, Transportation Engineer, Bridge Historian and Author of “Pittsburgh Bridges”


Pittsburgh, the City of Bridges, is also known for its convoluted roads. Some streets intersect each other three times. Others change names a few times. Giving directions, one often says, “Not that Right, the Other Right”, or “Go Straight”, which means angle left. The development of the City’s Roads is linked to the development of the City’s Bridges. In writing the book, “Images of America: Pittsburgh Bridges” published in 2015, the study of historical maps became a key research tool. Maps reviewed bridges that were eliminated when valleys were filled in and streets that were rearranged when new bridges were built. This research showed that by going back far enough in time, there was an explanation for each irregularity. This presentation will show these findings through maps and images past and present, explaining the City’s inconsistencies and abnormalities that make it unique.
Todd Wilson PictureAbout the Speaker: Todd Wilson is an award-winning professional engineer in Pittsburgh who has been photographing and writing about bridges his whole life. A Transportation Engineer, he is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and served as History & Heritage Chair for the Pittsburgh Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Mr. Wilson is a Trustee of PHLF (Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation) and a former Landmarks Scholarship recipient.

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