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urbanophile

Pittsburgh Road History

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I've always been curious as to where the old roads existed before Pittsburgh's early-20th Century boulevards were built on top of them. I did some research on the "Historic Pittsburgh" website and here's what I got.

PA 51

Before Clariton and Saw Mill Run Blvds. were built PA 51 ran along Cliarton Road, Fairhaven Road, Library Road, and Warrington Ave.

Where Clairton Blvd. is now used to be Clairton Road. Parts of the old road still exist where it hasn't been sumerged and are labelled as "Old Cliarton Road". Clairton Road ended at Fairhaven Road. Fairhaven Road went from Weyman Road to Breining Street in Brookline. Most of this road has been submerged by Saw Mill Run Blvd. Only the portion of Fairhaven from Saw Mill Run to Weyman Road still exists. The section from Saw Mill Run to Breining Street has been renamed Glenbury Street. From the intersection of Fairhaven and Library Roads, PA 51 continued on Library Road which back then continued past its presetn day end and connected to Noble's Lane (which was an extension of Library). Saw Mill Run Blvd. was built over Library Road in this area. From the present day intersection of PA 51 and Noble's Lane, PA 51 conitnued on Warrington Ave. Saw Mill Run was built over Warrington Ave. all the way to jsut past West Liberty Ave. (where Warrington now exists as a branch off of PA 51). When Saw Mill was built in the 20's and 30's, an entirely new roadway was built from Warrington to Banksville Ave. (now Banksville Road) where it terminated at a traffic circle. PA 51 continued northward along Woodville Ave.

BLVD. OF THE ALLIES

This was built over 2nd Avenue from Short St. to Grant Street. A new roadway was built to link it to the bluff area. From there, it was built over a portion of Bluff Street (which now exists as a branch off of the Blvd) to the end of the Hill District. From there a bridge was built to link it to Oakland. In Oakland it was built over Emily Street from Craft Ave. to Halket Street. It ended at Halket until the late 20's or 1930's. There were origianlly plans for it to continue onward to Forbes St. (now Ave.) in Oakland by being built over Louisa and Bates Streets. I think this plan was scrapped when the Blvd. got extended past Craft Ave along Emily Street. Then there were plans to extend it to Forbes in Squirrel Hill by being built over Joncaire Street (which back then linked up with present day Margret Morrison Street on the CMU campus - back then it was Woodside St.). Finally, it was decided to extend it to Schenley Park by building it over Halket Street and Wilmont Street. I think the building of the Wilmont Street Bridge (now the Schenley Park Entrance bridge) a decade or so earlier was what swayed the decision.

BIGELOW BLVD.

Was called Grant Blvd. until the 1920's. This road appears to be old old old. I think msot of it is de novo (meaning it wasn't built over any road) with the sole exception of Oakland where it took over one section of Bayard Street. The stub of Bayard west of Bigelow remained as Bayard until sometime later (probably the 1930's) when it was renamed Ohara.

WASHINGTON BLVD.

Built over Fifth Ave. from Frankstown Road to Larimer Ave. and over Butler Street from Larimer Ave. to Highland Park Bridge.

OHIO RIVER BLVD.

Built voer Beaver St./Ave/Rd. for the most part

MT. ROYAL BLVD.

The new name for what was the Old Butler Plank Road (which was an old routing of Buter Rd. - PA 8).

MCKNIGHT ROAD

Complete de novo road built in the 1930's and 40's except from one section which was built over Babcock Blvd.

BAUM BLVD.

Built over Atlantic Ave. from Craig Street to Liberty Ave. (Atlantic still branches off at this section). Built over Baum Street from Aiken Ave to East Liberty.

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