Along with celebrating the end of 2023, Allegheny County will mark the completion of a trifecta of bridge projects Sunday night when it reopens the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

In one of his last acts as Allegheny County executive, Rich Fitzgerald will make remarks at 8:45 p.m. at the bridge to commemorate the completion of $85.6 million of work to rehabilitate the Clemente and its two neighbors, the Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson bridges. The event is part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s annual First Night activities in Downtown Pittsburgh.

The Sister Bridges are historically significant because they were the first to use eye-bar chains rather than cables for suspension and they were self-anchored rather than anchored to the ground. The bridges, which cross the Allegheny River to connect Downtown Pittsburgh to the city’s North Side, also are believed to be the only three identical bridges in a four-block area anywhere in the world.

The bridges were upgraded one at a time beginning in 2016 with work on the Warhol. The work has included painting the bridges, installing new decks and repairs to the substructure and river supports.

The $34.4 million Clemente project included an additional task for Mosites Development and Construction Co.: removing an estimated 11,000 “love locks” that had been placed on its side panels over the years by couples declaring their love.

Separate from the improvements, the county installed a $6 million programmable LED light system on the bridges that debuted for Light Up Night in November. The decorative lights can display a series of themes to mark holidays, sports events or occasions such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In addition to providing traffic with an additional link to the North Side, reopening the bridge will return the option for Pittsburgh Pirates fan to easily park Downtown and walk across the river to baseball games next season.

Ed covers transportation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Ed Blazina

Ed covers transportation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at