Birmingham Bridge History & Traffic/Transit Details

The Birmingham Bridge (formerly known as the Brady Street Bridge) is a tied arch ´┐╝bridge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which crosses over the Monongahela River. The bridge connects East Carson Street on the South Side with Fifth and Forbes Avenue going into Uptown, Oakland, and the Hill District. It is named in honor of the English city of Birmingham and also for the neighborhood it connects to, which was once called ´┐╝Birmingham, now a part of the South Side.

Birmingham Bridge Construction ProjectThe Birmingham Bridge was built in 1976. It replaced the South 22nd Street Bridge (aka Brady Street Bridge), which was demolished on May 29, 1978. Six days before the demolition, Pittsburgh Police and Fire responded to a construction worker who had pinned his leg near the top of the span. After attempting unsuccessful rescues, they finally hoisted a surgeon to the site and were forced to amputate on site to save the worker's life. After the Brady Street Bridge came down, railings from its remains were rescued by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation and utilized in the construction of the Station Square Station.

The Birmingham Bridge is notable for the dead end lanes that were originally to be part of a city belt system. The project was canceled and the bridge rerouted. A pedestrian walkway runs along the downstream side of the bridge, ending at steps at the south abutment of the bridge.

On April 2, 2007 large sections of the bridge were shut down for repair. The repair project was expected to finish on November 1, 2007. While the project did not complete on time, by late November all barricades had been removed and all lanes were again open. During the bridge rehabilitation, bike lanes were added along the outer sides of both the northbound and southbound traffic lanes.

On February 8, 2008 the bridge was closed for inspection after a motorist called 911 when the deck dropped several inches. PennDOT indicated that one of the rockers that support bridge beams slipped and "feels it is in the best interest of the traveling public to close the outbound lanes at this time and conduct a thorough inspection to ensure the integrity of the structure."

In the early morning hours of Monday, March 3, 2008, the southbound deck reopened to serve traffic in both directions, cars and buses only. On September 8, 2008, the northbound deck fully reopened and northbound traffic was relocated to it. The inner lane of the southbound deck remained closed, and southbound trucks were still barred from the span.

It was originally called the Brady Street Bridge during construction, but in March 1977 the Pennsylvania General Assembly renamed it the Birmingham Bridge at the behest of State Senator James A. Romanelli.

Rehabilitation Scope of Work

This major bridge rehabilitation project, estimated Contract Value of $28.5 million, is anticipated to begin in September 2014. The Birmingham Bridge Preservation Project will include the painting of the entire superstructure, steel repairs, bearing replacements, substructure repairs, light pole replacements and a concrete overlay.

Traffic will be crossed over and maintained on the bridge that carries Route 2085? over the Monongahela River in the City of Pittsburgh. Various overnight and weekend ramp and lane closures and possible detours will occur on several roadways in the area of the bridge.

Construction will conclude in Summer 2017.

Bridge Structure

  • Total length: 1,662' (507 m)
  • Clearance below: 65' (20 m)
  • Longest Span: 607 feet
  • Location: Pittsburgh
  • Design /Bridge type: Steel Tied-arch bridge
  • Crosses Body of water: Monongahela River
  • Carries: 6 Lanes of Roadway, 1 Pedestrian Walkway/Bike Lane

Estimated Average Bridge/Ramp Daily Trips – 28,950

Average Daily Trips – Bridge Traffic = 21,350

  • Northbound towards Oakland = 11,400
  • Southbound towards Carson Street = 9,950

Average Daily Trips – Ramp Traffic = 7,600

  • Ramp E – Forbes Avenue onto Birmingham Bridge = 3,800
  • Ramp F – Birmingham Bridge onto Forbes Avenue = 3,800

Transit Usage: Average Daily Riders (September 2013)


54 North Side-Oakland-South Side1144,854
75 Ellsworth922,055
81 Oak Hill641,642
83 Bedford Hill622,190


54 North Side-Oakland-South Side813,273
75 Ellsworth501,508
81 Oak Hill48787
83 Bedford Hill481,104


54 North Side-Oakland-South Side1144,854
75 Ellsworth922,055
81 Oak Hill641,642
83 Bedford Hill622,190

Additional Resources: PennDOT Traffic Cameras | PennDOT Construction Hotline – (412) 429-6035 | Pittsburgh Area Traffic

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