PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Inspectors have listed the Fern Hollow Bridge in poor condition for more than a decade, although they say other local bridges are actually in worse condition.
The roughly 450-foot bridge near Frick Park was built in 1970 but has shown signs of deterioration in recent years.
Inspectors began listing the bridge in poor condition in 2011 and as recently as last September.
In 2017, inspectors recommended it be overhauled “because of general structural deterioration and lack of durability”, and proposed a restoration project estimated at $1.5 million. That project was never funded.
In 2018, a resident posted a photo on Twitter (below) showing a rusty beam and the base of a taxi exposed under the bridge. Councilman Corey O’Connor told KDKA-TV that beams and cables had been replaced, adding that he did not know if any additional work had taken place.
(Story continues below tweet)
@ Pgh311 I hope someone is keeping an eye on the underside of the Forbes Avenue bridge over Frick Park? One of the big “X” beams is completely rusted (and, yes, I do see the cables, so it might not be a crisis). pic.twitter.com/UQScawPEGQ
– Dr. G Kochanski (@gpk320) December 29, 2018
Despite consistently poor ratings, the bridge, which handles about 14,000 cars a day, is just one of 123 bridges in Allegheny County that are rated in poor condition. Senator Jay Costa said funds were limited and other bridges were considered in worse condition.
“It’s surprising that (given) the number of bridges in Pittsburgh and Allegheny counties, this isn’t really one of them on the list,” Costa said.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, Pennsylvania has the most unstructured bridges in the country, and Allegheny County has the most bridges in the state.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the bridge collapse.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/01/29/pittsburgh-bridge-collapse-fern-hollow-bridge-had-poor-rating-since-2011/ Fern Hollow Bridge Has ‘Poor’ Rating Since 2011 – CBS Pittsburgh