Pittsburgh Then and Now: The Hulton Bridge

The first Jonathon Hulton Bridge lasted for more than a century before it was replaced. An attempt to rename it, however, lasted just three days.


COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS | oakmont historical image collection 
 

The Hulton Bridge, which spans the Allegheny River connecting Oakmont and Harmarville, was named for Jonathon Hulton, one of the first landowners in Oakmont. It was built in 1908 at a cost of $306,000. At that time, horse and buggies were the mode of transportation. “It was wooden originally and lit by gas lamps,” according to historian Gary Rogers. In 1989, the state legislature renamed the bridge in honor of the late Pennsylvania representative Joseph Bonetto, an advocate of new bridge construction. However, the idea not sit well with borough residents. Plaques designating the bridge's new name mysteriously disappeared three days after they were installed and were replaced by new, larger plaques confirming the span's original name. 
 


photo by BY FRANCESCA FELLO
 

Construction of a 1,600-foot-long steel replacement bridge began in September 2013. The new bridge is four lanes instead of two with wider medians, shoulders and a ADA-compliant sidewalk. It opened to traffic on Oct. 20, 2015. The project cost $65 million.
 


photo by dave dicello
 

Just before 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, the old Hulton Bridge was imploded. You can watch its final moments here.

Pittsburgh Then & Now is a yearlong series in celebration of Pittsburgh Magazine's 50th anniversary where we explore the changes that have happened across the region from 1969 until present-day. Read more Then & Now stories here.

Categories: Then/Now