Sherry KoshmanBob Regan, Research Professor at SIS, has once again used his Geographic Information Systems (GIS) skills to produce “The Bridges of Pittsburgh,” a 182-page celebration of the 446 bridges within the City of Pittsburgh.  Released on June 12, 2006, this volume offers 150 contemporary and historical photos, ten self-guided tours, and a detailed list of all the bridges in the city. Bob, along with photographer Tim Fabian, documented in a 2005 study that there are 446 bridges located within or at the limits of the City of Pittsburgh. 

It was originally estimated that there were fewer than 400: this publication asserts that Pittsburgh deserves the title of “The City of Bridges,” traditionally bestowed upon Venice, Italy (which boasts about 400 bridges).  The book, published by The Local History Company (Pittsburgh), covers the history and types of bridges, pioneers in the designing and building of the spans, and tours for walkers, drivers, cyclists, and boaters.  Intriguingly, the book also includes a chapter on “unique Pittsburgh bridges” including the underground bridge that lies undisturbed under the Mary Schenley Fountain at the University of Pittsburgh’s Frick Fine Arts Building; the “Bridge of Sighs” which is actually part of a famous building designed by H. H. Richardson and which connects the old county jail with the county courthouse; and the bridge in a building – one inside the USX building that carries light rail traffic.  The book is being lauded:  “A celebration of the area’s bridges that is precisely documented, user-friendly and informative,” praises Al Tannler, of the Pittsburgh History& Landmarks Foundation.  In a review for Columns Magazine, architect Bob Bailey notes that “It is saturated with Pittsburgh flavor, readily readable….”

This is the second publication by author Regan and photographer Fabian.  In 2004, the pair collaborated on “The Steps of Pittsburgh:  Portrait of a City.”  As in the previous book, GIS technology was utilized to locate and plot the landmark bridges.  The book’s release is timed to coincide with the opening of the annual International Bridge Engineering Conference in Pittsburgh.  On June 12th, Regan and Fabian were honored with a citation from Pittsburgh City Council.  The author and photographer will be making many public appearances to support the release of “The Bridges of Pittsburgh.”