Jonathon Hulton Bridge

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Jonathon Hulton Bridge
Jonathon Hulton Bridge.jpg
Coordinates 40°31′42″N 79°50′48″W / 40.5283°N 79.8466°W / 40.5283; -79.8466Coordinates: 40°31′42″N 79°50′48″W / 40.5283°N 79.8466°W / 40.5283; -79.8466
Carries 2 lanes of Allegheny County SR 2082
Crosses Allegheny River
Locale Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Official name Jonathon Hulton Bridge
Other name(s) Hulton Bridge
Maintained by PennDOT
Design subdivided Parker Pratt through truss
Material steel
Total length 470.6 metres (1,544 ft)
Longest span 140.2 metres (460 ft)
No. of spans 5
Piers in water 3
Clearance below 15.2 metres (50 ft)
Opened 4 September 1908
Closed 5 October 2015 (demolished 26 January 2016)
Daily traffic 22,312
Jonathon Hulton Bridge from the road deck

The Jonathon Hulton Bridge, built in 1908, was the first major bridge designed by Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.[1] Spanning the Allegheny River, it connected the eastern Pittsburgh suburbs of Oakmont and Harmarville, Pennsylvania. The bridge was demolished successfully with explosives at 9:49 AM on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.


The bridge was a Parker Pratt through Truss bridge. These bridges were common in the early 20th century for car and rail traffic.[2] The bridge is named for Jonathon Hulton, one of the first landowners in the Oakmont area. The Hulton family also operated a ferry across the Allegheny River near the current bridge location until its construction.

In 1989 the PA Legislature approved the renaming of the bridge in honor of the late Pennsylvania Representative Joseph F. Bonetto. Plaques were unceremoniously attached to the bridge, and three days later they were removed and never seen again. New larger plaques were put in their place confirming that it was indeed the Jonathon Hulton Bridge.[3][4] Prior to its implosion, the Hulton Bridge was painted a lavender color, a byproduct of the 1991 refurbishment of the bridge.[5] Last to Crossover the bridge was Jeremiah on October 5th in a white BMW 325 convertible.

Replacement Project[edit]

Construction of a 1600-foot-long steel multi-girder replacement bridge just upstream of the original bridge began in September 2013.[6][7][8][9][10] The new bridge, which opened to traffic on 20 October 2015,[11][12][13][14] has four 11-foot-wide traffic lanes (2 in each direction), one 4-foot-wide median, one 4-foot-wide shoulder on each side of the roadway, and a 5-foot-wide ADA-compliant sidewalk on the bridge's southern side.[14][15] The old bridge was demolished on January 26, 2016.[16]

Aside from the new bridge itself, the scope of the $65 million replacement project also includes realignment and reconstruction of parts of Freeport and Hulton roads, relocation of utilities, drainage, pavement markings, and improvements to intersections, lighting, traffic signals, curbs, and sidewalks.[13][15] Six buildings on the Harmar side of the river were demolished to facilitate construction.[17] The entire project, including implosion of the original bridge, was completed in spring 2016, in time for the 2016 U.S. Open at nearby Oakmont Country Club.

The replacement span was designed by Pennsylvania-based engineering firms Gannett Fleming and McCormick Taylor.[5][18][19] Brayman Construction Corporation of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania is the general contractor for the project.[6][7][17][19] Roughly 80% of the project's funding was provided by the federal government.[17]

In 2009, when PennDOT announced the plan to replace and demolish the old bridge, engineering students from Carnegie Mellon University proposed to instead convert it into a pedestrian walkway and connect Oakmont to the Allegheny River Trail.[1][20][21] However, it was determined that this conversion would be too costly, and that the old bridge would be demolished as originally planned.[4][6][8][14]

The old bridge was imploded successfully at 9:50 AM on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. The implosion could be seen from the Harmar Bald Eagle Camera.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kate Luce Angell "Plan presented to save Hulton Bridge" [Pittsburgh] December 24, 2009 5:56 am 10/3/2012
  2. ^ Condit, Carl. American Building Art. New York: Oxford University Press, 1961. Print
  3. ^ "Hulton Bridge - Bridges and Tunnels of Allegheny County and Pittsburgh, PA". Retrieved 9 Oct 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Hanz, Joyce (Oct 26, 2014). "Hulton Bridge to be focus of Oakmont historian's talk". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved Oct 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Jon, Schmitz (February 16, 2009). "Plans for new Hulton Bridge put on display". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  6. ^ a b c Yerace, Tom (September 13, 2013). "Work to start Monday on new Hulton Bridge". Tribune-Review. 
  7. ^ a b "Brayman Construction Corporation Heavy Civil & Geotechnical Contractors :: Hulton Bridge". 
  8. ^ a b "Hulton Bridge Replacement : Construction Schedule". 
  9. ^ Thomas, Mary Ann (December 1, 2013). "Chill won't halt Hulton Bridge work". Tribute-Review. 
  10. ^ Dezayas, Heidi (July 7, 2013). "Hulton Bridge Replacement: New Photo Rendering". Plum-Oakmont Patch. 
  11. ^ "Brand new Hulton Bridge opened to traffic". WPXI. October 20, 2015. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  12. ^ "TRAFFIC: Hulton Bridge closes until Oct. 20, when new span opens". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 5, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Hulton Bridge Replacement : HULTON BRIDGE TO CLOSE OCTOBER 5 TO OCTOBER 20". 
  14. ^ a b c Schmitz, Jon (September 25, 2015). "Hulton Bridge replacement nears completion". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  15. ^ a b "Hulton Bridge Replacement : Overview". 
  16. ^ "TRAFFIC: Implosion of old Hulton Bridge scheduled Tuesday". January 25, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  17. ^ a b c Weigland, Jodi (August 2, 2013). "Clinton company may have landed Hulton Bridge project". Tribune-Review. 
  18. ^ "PennDOT District 11-0 Roadwork - Future Construction Projects Index - SR 0028, Section A44". PennDOT District 11-0 Roadwork - Future Construction Projects Index. PennDOT. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "Hulton Bridge Replacement : Project Team". 
  20. ^ Santoni, Matthew (December 9, 2009). "Carnegie Mellon students design alternative use for Oakmont bridge". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Archived from the original on December 13, 2009. 
  21. ^ Burns, Erin (Feb 8, 2010). "Student designers re-imagine Oakmont's historic Hulton bridge". The Tartan. Retrieved October 21, 2015.