Famous “Three Sisters” Bridge Reopens After 2-Year Rehab in Pittsburgh

The last of the historic Three Sisters Bridges in Pittsburgh has reopened after being closed for nearly two years for a $35.6 million rehab project.

The Roberto Clemente Bridge, also known as the 6th Street Bridge, is the third and final of the famous identical golden bridges to undergo extensive rehabilitation since 2016, at a total overall cost of $82 million. Opened between 1926-28, the spans are the only trio of identical bridges in the world and were the first self-anchored suspended-arch bridges built in the U.S., according to the Allegheny County Public Works Department. They cross the Allegheny River between downtown Pittsburgh and North Shore neighborhoods.

The Andy Warhol Bridge, also known as the 7th Street Bridge, was the first to be rehabbed. It reopened in 2017 after a $23.6 million project.

Then came the Rachel Carson Bridge, or 9th Street Bridge, which reopened in 2020 after a $23 million rehab.

The Roberto Clemente Bridge, which opened in 1928, handles an average of 7,895 vehicles a day, according to Allegheny County.

Its rehabilitation consisted of repairs to the structural steel and concrete masonry; replacement of the concrete deck, sidewalks and expansion dams; and repainting the bridge and handrails “Aztec Gold.” Its lighting was also replaced to resemble its original appearance.

The contractor on the project is Mosites Construction of Robinson, Pennsylvania. The work was funded by the county, PennDOT and FHWA.

All three bridges also recently got a total of more than 600,000 LED programable lights. The $6 million worth of new enhanced lighting includes 2,628 feet of linear fixtures on the suspenders; 192 rounded fixtures on the suspension chain pins; 132 spot and wash lighting fixtures that accent the towers, hangers, and piers; as well as 12 replica fixtures atop the pylons.

Some work remains on all three bridges. Repairs to their pylon doors and door frames are scheduled to be completed by the spring, the county says.