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Pittsburgh, the City of Bridges, is also known for its convoluted roads. Some streets intersect each other three times. Others change names a few times. Giving directions, one often says, “Not that right, the other right,” or “Go straight,” which means angle left. The development of the city’s roads is linked to the development of the city’s bridges. In writing the book, Images of America: Pittsburgh’s Bridges, published in 2015, the study of historical maps became a key research tool. Maps revealed bridges that were eliminated when valleys were filled in and streets that were rearranged when new bridges were built. This research showed that by going back far enough in time, there was an explanation for each irregularity. This presentation will show these findings through maps and images past and present, explaining the city’s inconsistencies and abnormalities that make it unique.
About the Presenter
Todd Wilson is an award-winning professional engineer in Pittsburgh who has been photographing and writing about bridges his whole life. A transportation engineer, he is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and serves as History and Heritage Chair for the Pittsburgh Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Mr. Wilson is a trustee of PHLF and a former Landmarks Scholarship recipient.
All lectures are free to PHLF members. Non-members: $10
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