Pittsburgh Bridge Collapse: Fern Hollow Bridge Had 'Poor' Rating Since 2011
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Inspectors have listed the Fern Hollow Bridge in poor condition for more than a decade, although they said other local bridges are actually in worse condition.
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The bridge, about 450 feet long, near Frick Park was built in 1970 but in recent years had shown signs of of deterioration.
Inspectors began listing the bridge in poor condition as far back as 2011, and as recently as last September.
In 2017, inspectors recommended it be overhauled "because of general structure deterioration and inadequate strength," and recommended a restoration project estimated at $1.5 million. That project was never funded.
In 2018, a citizen posted a photo on Twitter (below) showing a rusted-out beam and exposed cab legs under the bridge. Councilman Corey O'Connor told KDKA-TV the beams and cables were replaced, adding that he was unaware whether any additional work took place.
(Story continues below the tweet)
Despite its continuing poor ratings, the bridge, which sees about 14,000 cars each day, is only one of 123 bridges in Allegheny County rated in poor condition. Sen. Jay Costa said funds have been limited, and that other bridges were considered to be in more dire condition.
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"It's surprising that (with) the number of bridges in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, this is not really one of them that was on the list," Costa said.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, Pennsylvania has the most structurally deficient bridges in the country, and Allegheny County has the most in the state.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the bridge collapse.
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