The $6.305 million Fort Pitt Bridge, designed by George S. Richardson of Richardson, Gordon, & Associates, opened at 11 a.m. on June 19, 1959 with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Gov. Lawrence before a caravan including Mayor Gallagher and candidate Joesph M. Barr were driven across while a city fireboat gave a hose salute upriver. Its two predecessor bridges, the original Point Bridge (1877-1924) and its replacement of the same name (aka Point Bridge II, 1927-1959), spanned even closer to the aforementioned confluence from West Carson Street (near the Duquesne Incline) to Water St. (now Fort Pitt Blvd.), near the tip of Point State Park. The Point Bridge closed two days after the opening of the Fort Pitt Bridge, but remained standing until it was dismantled (along with the connected Manchester Bridge) in 1970.
Until the opening of the Fort Pitt Tunnels on September 1, 1960, outbound traffic was routed onto West Carson St. (PA 837 North), heading towards the West End.
At the time of opening the bridge contained 8,066 tons of steel, 4,950 tons of structural carbon steel and 1,305 tons of steel reinforcing rods. The contractors included U.S. Steel's American Bridge Co., John F. Casey Co. Dinardo Inc., the Fort Pitt Bridge Co. and J.C. Jackanic Inc.