Favorite Bridge: Hot Metal Bridge

 

My favorite bridge is the two spans that make up Hot Metal Bridge and connect southern Oakland with the Side Side.  The two spans are aesthetically gorgeous, in my humble opinion, and I love their history.  One of the spans is a former railroad bridge but in 2000 was made over for vehicles and now carries “Hot Metal Bridge Street” across the river.  The smaller of the two spans was even more recently reopened, in 2007, and now is for pedestrians and cyclists.  Previously, however, it was literally a bridge for hot metal – ladle transfer cars carried molten iron across the bridge from the blast furnaces of the river-straddling J&L Steel mill.  During World War II, approximately 15% of US steel production traveled across that bridge.  The name of the bridge therefore derives from the industrial history of Pittsburgh and is in some ways a memorial to the steel workers who came before us.

Jessica Marie Otis

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