The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

McArdle Roadway Viaduct

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

While I was cracking out the shots of St. John’s featured in yesterday’s post, it was noticed that I was particularly close to sort of a little bridge which I’d driven over countless times. Every single one of those times, I’ve made a mental note to look it up, and to figure out a way to access its pedestrian and bike partition. I’ve also made a mental note to look up who this P.J. McArdle guy was, and it turns out he was actor Zachary Quinto’s Great Grandfather, so there’s a Spock/Star Trek angle. Win.

Turns out the bridge is called the McArdle Roadway Viaduct, and it’s part of the P.J. McArdle Roadway – which ramps traffic up off of the flat lands south side of Pittsburgh and towards the Liberty Tunnel which is punched through the base of Mount Washington.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When you’ve got a de facto cliff adjoining the confluence of three rivers sitting in the center of your City, engineering challenges abound. There’s the automobile and other vehicle lanes, and there’s also a series of heavy freight rail tracks, all terraced and woven in on the side of the cliff. This shot is from about a 1/4 mile or so west of the bridge structure, as a note. has a nice page about the McArdle viaduct, accessible at this url.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get to the top of the viaduct and walk down the frankly terrifying sidewalk which leads to the walkway on the bridge. Problem is that the top of the walkway is where the entrance to the Liberty Tunnel is, and that area ain’t exactly what I’d refer to as “pedestrian friendly.” There’s some pretty choice and “less common” views of the city center available from there, so…

Back next week with Choo-Choo’s.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 31, 2023 at 2:00 pm

One Response

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  1. […] feed southbound traffic first to the Liberty Bridge and then into the Liberty Tunnel, and or the P.J. McArdle roadway, on the south side of the Monongahela […]

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