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'Helping Your Neighborhood Is Really Important:' Local Businesses Preparing For Fallout From Pittsburgh Bridge Collapse

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The Fern Hollow Bridge collapse rattled not only the people who were on the bridge at the time but also the residents who travel it every day.

They said outside of the incident, it's now going to be an inconvenience and businesses believe it will hurt their bottom line.

Already affected by the collapse, The Dive Bar And Grill didn't open.

With the gas line broken and the massive overall response, Thomas Bango, a line cook, said the bridge took precedence.

"We were really worried," he said. "Just asked anybody to help if we could, we'd make coffee for them."

That doesn't mean an immediate impact won't still be felt in the coming months.

"I think it'll definitely negatively affect business because a lot of the traffic between Wilkinsburg and Regent Square and Squirrel Hill would've taken Forbes Avenue," Bango said. "So, I'm sure we'll be affected negatively a little bit, but I don't know if it's going to crush us."

Bango said he believes it's the mom-and-pop shops in the area that will need the most help from their community.

In Regent Square, they all look out for one another and he believes they now will survive the collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge.

"Being strong in your neighborhood and connected in your neighborhood and helping your neighborhood is really important so yeah, I think a lot of the businesses around here will band together and try to take care of one another."

Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O'Connor's district covers Frick Park and he said he's crossed the bridge hundreds of times.

He was stunned when he learned it had collapsed.

WATCH: Councilman O'Connor Speaks

Now, he said the investigation, clean-up, and repair process will take a long time, meaning a change in traffic patterns.

"We're talking about having some community meetings just to discuss what's going on," he said. "Detours, bus routes, school drop-offs, and pick-ups, those are the type of questions you see daily. Those are the type of questions you see daily, and we've just interrupted your daily life, so we have to get that information to the public."

He added that he's happy the collapse wasn't worse considering that is a heavily-traveled area.


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