Leopold Neiman, 88, of Philadelphia, retired chief bridge engineer for the City of Philadelphia, died Saturday, May 22, of restrictive lung disease at St. Joseph's Manor Hospice in Meadowbrook.
Mr. Neiman became an engineer for the Philadelphia Streets Department in 1950. He eventually became chief bridge engineer, supervising the repair and maintenance of city bridges and their replacement when necessary.
He was particularly proud of the Spring Garden Street Bridge, which was completed in the mid-1960s, family members said. The bridge carries traffic over 22 sets of railroad tracks and the Schuylkill Expressway. A television camera was installed on the bridge so police could monitor traffic, and the tunnel that channels vehicles under the Art Museum plaza also was upgraded.
In the late 1960s, Mr. Neiman supervised the construction of the Girard Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill, retaining the ornate iron railings from the previous bridge, built in 1873. In 1968, he and another engineer won a $1,000 prize for a paper on the arc-welding design for the bridge.
In 1982, he, another engineer, and an architect were awarded $2,000 from the Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation for their work on the Wyoming Avenue Bridge over Tacony Creek. They were cited for "outstanding contribution to the design and construction of the 700-foot bridge to blend with a park setting."
Mr. Neiman was named Streets Supervisor of the Year in 1974. The award citation from Mayor Frank L. Rizzo stated: "Mr. Neiman dramatically demonstrates that a highly professional engineering organization can be developed within a municipal government." He retired in 1985.
Mr. Neiman grew up in Strawberry Mansion. During World War II, he served in the Navy in the Pacific. He remained in the Naval Reserve for 22 years, retiring as a chief petty officer.
After the war, Mr. Neiman earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Temple University. While working for the city, and for several years after he retired, he taught construction technology at Temple, Drexel University, and Community College of Philadelphia, and was involved in programs to encourage public school students to pursue careers in engineering.
Mr. Neiman was a stained-glass craftsman. He enjoyed swimming at the Aquatics Fitness Center in Northeast Philadelphia and traveled around the world.
His wife of 40 years, Shirley Zupnick Neiman, died in 1990. Since 2000, he had been married to Dorothy Steinberg Neiman.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Neiman is survived by sons Benjamin, Martin, and Glenn; daughter Lois Obelcz; stepchildren Daniel and Kenneth Lipowitz, and Cheryl Kirby; a sister; and eight grandchildren.
A funeral will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, at Goldsteins' Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks, 6410 N. Broad St. Burial will be in Montefiore Cemetery, Jenkintown.