These are all Downtown bridges very close to each other. They don't get much cycling use, though there are wide sidewalks on them, and they can be used to get to the North Side and the north bank of the Ohio.
This bridge connects the Strip and the North Side. It's one of the more interesting-looking bridges in the area, with its unique stone ornamentation and the pictures along the side. The Pittsburgh Marathon crosses this bridge. To get there, take Morewood to its end, turn right on Millvale, then left on Liberty, and follow Liberty to the Strip. (You may prefer a parallel street like Penn once you're in the Strip.) Turn right on 16th Street.
This bridge goes from the upper Strip district to Route 28 at Troy Hill, going over Herr's Island in the process. I don't know of a use for it, and has never crossed it on a bike.
This bridge goes from Lawrenceville to East Ohio St. (route 28) near Millvale. The lanes are on the narrow side, and the surface has traditionally been bad. (It was recently resurfaced, though, so it may be better now.) Also, it ends on Route 28, a high-speed, high-traffic road. There is a sidewalk on the upstream side, though, and it's possible to avoid route 28 for the short distance into Millvale, by using the sidewalk routing further down.
You can get to the bridge from CMU by taking Morewood north, turning right on S. Millvale when the road ends, left onto Liberty, staying straight onto Main Street at the Bloomfield Bridge intersection, and following Main Street all the way down the hill to Butler. At Butler, turn left, go two blocks, and turn right on 40th.
Once across the bridge, you can turn right onto a two-lane one-way strip, and go down a short hill to Millvale. It's narrow, and there is sometimes high-speed traffic coming across the highway (even though all traffic off 28 eastbound is SUPPOSED to turn right at the bridge.) Going back, you can turn right on Maryland just before going under the Route 28 bridge, then descend a small staircase and go along a sidewalk running parallel to Route 28 until you reach the bridge intersection. You can also try this in reverse coming from Pittsburgh.
You can also get to Millvale by going first to Etna via an upstream bridge, and then following Parker road west over the hill. (See below for more details.)
This is the first of three popular North Hills bridges. It goes to Etna, giving easy access to northbound roads like Mt. Royal Blvd. and Route 8. (Route 8's pretty hairy in itself, but you can get to Saxonburg Blvd. and Middle Rd. from there after a short distance north.) There are sidewalks on the side of the bridge, so you can walk your bike across if you prefer. (Watch for stairways at the north end, though!) Or if the traffic isn't bad, just pedal down the road. At the end of the bridge, don't continue onto route 8, but go down off the bridge onto the street below. (If you're on the road, this means following the left lane.) Cycle west into Etna, and turn right at the town center. This will bring you back out to Mt. Royal Blvd. and Route 8, avoiding the highway-like bypass of the town.
You can also go east from the end of the bridge to Sharpsburg and beyond (turn right at Freeport Rd. right after getting off the bridge). You can also go west to Millvale. From the center of Etna, head west on Butler St., and shortly before the road merges into route 28, take a right, and then stay to the right at the fork, to get onto Parker Rd. You can follow this road up and down a hill all the way to the northern part of Millvale.
To reach the bridge, you can take Negley north past East Liberty, and then turn left on Stanton to Morningside, then right on Morningside. Continue to the end of Morningside, and then turn left onto Baker St., which quickly drops you down to Butler St. Stop at the bottom, continue west on Butler, and then turn right onto the bridge.
This bridge is the gateway to the Fox Chapel area, crossing from Butler Street to a spot close to Aspinwall and Sharpsburg. It can get heavy traffic at certain times of the day, and some cyclists complain about its expansion joints. There is a sidewalk on the western side, but getting to and from it might be more dangerous than just staying on the road, according to Scott Crowder, who crosses the bridge regularly.
When you cross the bridge going north, you'll want to get off onto Freeport Rd. The ramp labeled "Sharpsburg" will put you on Freeport Rd. going west; the one labeled "Aspinwall" will put you on the road going east.
There are two basic routes between CMU and the bridge. The first is to follow Fifth Avenue until it turns into Washington, following Washington all the way down the hill, and then turning left on Butler (Blue and Green Belts). The Bridge is a short distance down the road, on the right.
The other route, which is often done in reverse for a return trip, is to take Negley Avenue as far north as it goes, then jogging right and then left into Highland Park, making a left to the road by the Zoo, and then turning right on Butler at the end of that road. The ramp to the Bridge comes up shortly on the right.
This is usually the best bridge for trips up the Allegheny. It's several miles upriver from the city, and crosses from Oakmont to Harmarville. Traffic is comparatively light on this bridge, but it is narrow enough that cars can't pass you without going all the way into the oncoming lane. The bridge has a fairly new deck and new paint job, which is an amusing shade of lilac.
To get there, follow Fifth Avenue east until it turns into Washington, and head down the hill to the Allegheny. At the river, turn right on Allegheny River Boulevard (which at that point is also Route 130 and the Green Belt) and follow the river north to Oakmont. The ride to Oakmont is mostly flat, with a few small rollers, and is a fairly scenic ride in its own right.
This is a very old bridge (and the surface shows it, too) between downtown and Station Square. One half of it used to carry trolleys, and is now closed. The other half is two lanes, and fairly narrow. But there's not much reason to take it. There's a walkway on the west side.
This runs between the South Side and Second Avenue east of Downtown. It's four lanes, concrete, not really any shoulder, but with sidewalks. Traffic is usually pretty light.
I've started using this bridge more now that the Beehive has opened up on the South Side. It connects Oakland and the South Side, and it's probably the best of the Mon bridges in the city for bikes. It's a smooth concrete 4-lane bridge, with a wide shoulder. If you're crossing over from Fifth, watch for cars merging from Forbes from an on-ramp to the right. The slope is gently downhill towards the South Side.
Going north, while the bridge itself is pretty safe, Forbes Avenue on the other end can be a bit hairy, what with the ramp coming off of I-376 merging in on the right. You may prefer to walk your bike along the sidewalk until you get past that ramp merge.
This bridge connects Hazelwood and the Hays area of Pittsburgh (giving access to Sandcastle, Streets Run and Glass Run Rds., and Rte. 885). It's a four-lane bridge, with highway-like ramps at the south end. I've only tried this bridge a few times; you have to be careful about traffic, but fortunately, there usually isn't as much of it on this bridge as on some of the other bridges. Do watch, however, for the joints; some of them look nasty.
It's at the end of Second Avenue. From CMU, you can just follow 885 out of South Oakland, or go into the park, cross the Greenfield Bridge, and then go west on Greenfield Avenue. At the bottom of the long hill, turn left onto route 885, and follow it out to the bridge.
This is a quick way out from Squirrel Hill to Homestead and the Mon Valley. The bridge, and the approach to it, slopes steadily downward for a long way, and there's good visibility on the bridge. As a result, even though the 4-lane road isn't very wide, you shouldn't have much problem riding down it to Homestead, because you'll be traveling at or near the speed limit anyway, and cars behind you have plenty of time to switch lanes. Going back, though, you may want to try the sidewalk if you don't like fending off cars. (There's a fair amount of glass on the sidewalks, so if you use the sidewalk and don't have puncture-resistant tires, walk, don't ride.)
Go to the 5-way Browns Hill Rd. intersection, which you can reach by going south on Beechwood (from either end) or by going on Murray or Greenfield Avenue to the end, and turning left for a short distance on Hazelwood. Then turn south on Browns Hill Rd. (Blue Belt), and follow the hill down across the river to Homestead.
Turning left on 837 at the end of the bridge will take you up the Mon Valley towards the Rankin Bridge, Kennywood, McKeesport, and beyond. Right will take you to Hays (home of the Sandcastle waterslide park).
This bridge connects route 837 with the boroughs of Braddock and Rankin, and conceivably could be approached from either side. To get to the east end first, take Forbes east to Braddock Avenue, and follow Braddock Avenue south through Swissvale until you reach the bridge. To reach the west end first, cross the Mon on the Homestead bridge, turn left on 837, and follow the road upriver until you reach the bridge.
This bridge connects route 51 (just west of the Duquesne incline) with the west end of the North Side. It's four smooth lanes, with wide walkways on either side. While I don't know of any real use for it] as a connecting bridge for East End bikers, it is a pretty bridge, and from the middle of the bridge you get a very nice straight-on view of the Point and Downtown.
These are two bridges further down the river. They are mainly useful for people going down the Ohio, as they mark spots where you may want to cross the river to minimize traffic. (See the ohio-valley route for more details.)
Last updated 7-Sep-91 by firstname.lastname@example.org