‘A boom, then a monster sound’: 10 hurt after bridge over Pittsburgh’s Frick Park collapses

Pittsburgh

Infrastructure


Fig. 1. Post-collapse scene at the Fern Hollow Bridge, photograph by National Transportation Safety Board, January 29, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.


Fig. 2. Screengrab from KDKA (probably the television station) video, via Harrisburg Patriot-News, October 28, 2019,[2] fair use.

Sarah Cassi, “$4.2 billion diverted from PennDOT road and bridge repairs to fund state police, new audit reveals,” Easton Express-Times, April 30, 2019, https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/lehigh-county/2019/04/42-billion-diverted-from-penndot-road-and-bridge-repairs-to-fund-state-police-new-audit-reveals.html

David Wenner, “Sinkhole swallows part of bus in downtown Pittsburgh,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, October 29, 2019, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/10/sink-hole-swallows-pittsburgh-bus.html

KDKA-TV, “Pittsburgh Councilman Publicly Criticizes ‘Unacceptable’ State Of Roads After Snowfall,” December 27, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/12/27/pittsburgh-councilman-publicly-criticizes-unacceptable-state-of-roads-after-snowfall/

Oliver Morrison, “With all eyes on Biden in Pittsburgh, 13 local experts diagnose the region’s biggest infrastructure needs,” Public Source, March 31, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/with-biden-in-pittsburgh-13-local-experts-diagnose-the-regions-biggest-infrastructure-needs/

Ed Blazina, “Pittsburgh-area leaders press for federal funds to finally build northern section of Mon-Fayette Expressway,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 2, 2021, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2021/06/01/Mon-Fayette-Expressway-Monroeville-Jefferson-Hills-Duquesne-state-hearing/stories/202106010144

Rick Earle, “Pittsburgh Public Works launches internal investigation following snow response issues,” WPXI, January 7, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/pittsburgh-public-works-launches-internal-investigation-following-snow-response-issues/3ZAYYSR5WNCD5H5KE67WJ6SKBU/

Julia Felton, “Plowing continues on snow-covered Pittsburgh streets,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/plowing-continues-on-snow-covered-pittsburgh-streets/

Ed Blazina, “Pennsylvania will receive an extra $1.63 billion in federal infrastructure funds to fix bridges, 3rd most in U.S.,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 14, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2022/01/14/Pennsylvania-bridges-1-point-63-billion-federal-infrastructure-funds-US-Department-of-Transportation/stories/202201140086

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh officials say snow response will be better ahead of Sunday storm,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 14, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-officials-say-snow-response-will-be-better-ahead-of-sunday-storm/

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh officials say they expect to have streets cleared for Tuesday commute,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 17, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-officials-say-they-expect-to-have-streets-cleared-for-tuesday-commute/

Taylor Spirito, “Pittsburgh residents frustrated after city side streets left unplowed,” WPXI, January 18, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/pittsburgh-residents-frustrated-after-city-side-streets-left-unplowed/NLUWU6RFFBCKBCYKDEMU7Y3FWQ/

Kylie Walker, “Pittsburgh Public Works releases statement in response to snow removal concerns,” WTAE, January 18, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-public-works-releases-statement-in-response-to-snow-removal-concerns/38803017

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh officials say 50 trucks still cleaning snow and ice,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 20, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-officials-say-50-trucks-still-cleaning-snow-and-ice/

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh crews working to clear city streets after Sunday’s snow,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 24, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-crews-working-to-clear-city-streets-after-sundays-snow/

WTAE, “Residents in Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood frustrated with snow response,” January 24, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/residents-in-pittsburghs-brookline-neighborhood-frustrated-with-snow-response/38876127

Marcie Cipriani, “Maintenance issues with Public Works trucks creates challenges when treating roads,” WTAE, January 25, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-snow-plow-issues-treating-roads/38888584

Kylie Walker, “City of Pittsburgh updates snow removal process after Monday’s storm,” WTAE, January 25, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-snow-removal-update-after-monday-storm/38883671

Ed Blazina et al., “‘A boom, then a monster sound’: 10 hurt after bridge over Pittsburgh’s Frick Park collapses,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 28, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2022/01/28/pittsburgh-bridge-collapse-forbes-braddock-avenue-point-breeze-squirrel-hill/stories/202201280075

Emma Folts, “From a burning bridge to a sinking road, 5 times Pittsburgh infrastructure raised worries,” Public Source, January 28, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/from-a-burning-bridge-to-a-sinking-road-5-times-pittsburgh-infrastructure-raised-worries/

Megan Guza, “‘It is outrageous’: Pittsburgh leaders, residents seek answers after poor-rated bridge collapses,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 28, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/it-is-outrageous-pittsburgh-leaders-residents-seek-answers-after-poor-rated-bridge-collapses/

Tony LaRussa, “Over 40 bridges in Alle-Kiski Valley are rated the same as span that collapsed in Pittsburgh,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 28, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/here-are-the-bridges-in-the-alle-kiski-valley-rated-the-same-as-span-that-collapsed-in-pittsburgh/

Brian C. Rittmeyer, Megan Guza, and Jason Cato, “10 injured in bridge collapse in Pittsburgh’s Frick Park,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 28, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/frick-park-bridge-collapses-natural-gas-smell-in-area/

Charlie Wolfson, “Collapsed Pittsburgh bridge and 175 others rated poor in county drive home need for investment,” Public Source, January 28, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/bridge-collapse-pittsburgh-allegheny-infrastructure-biden/

WTAE, “Gov. Wolf signs proclamation of disaster emergency for Allegheny County following bridge collapse,” January 28, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/bridge-collapse-pittsburgh-gov-wolf-signs-proclamation-of-disaster-emergency/38928541

Julia Felton, “‘It’s a resource problem’: 1 in 8 bridges in Pa. rated in ‘poor’ condition, records show,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 29, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/its-a-resource-problem-1-in-8-bridges-in-pa-rated-in-poor-condition-records-show/

Margaret J. Krauss et al., “Bridge collapses in Frick Park, hours before Biden arrives in Pittsburgh to discuss infrastructure,” WESA, January 29, 2022, https://www.wesa.fm/2022-01-28/bridge-collapses-in-frick-park

Lauren Lee, “Mayor Gainey signs Disaster Emergency Declaration following Fern Hollow bridge collapse,” WTAE, January 30, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/mayor-gainey-to-sign-disaster-emergency-declaration-following-fern-hollow-bridge-collapse/38934884

Mary Ann Thomas, “O’Connor: Rebuilding Forbes Avenue bridge could take 2 years, more than $10M,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 30, 2022, https://triblive.com/news/declarations-of-emergency-expected-to-speed-cleanup-and-reconstruction-of-forbes-avenue-bridge/

Ryan Deto, “Crane pulls Port Authority bus from Frick Park bridge wreckage,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 31, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/public-viewing-area-opens-for-pittsburghs-collapsed-fern-hollow-bridge-as-cleanup-begins/

KDKA-TV, “Pittsburgh Bridge Collapse: PennDOT To Invest $25.3M To Rebuild Fern Hollow Bridge,” January 31, 2022, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/01/31/penndot-investment-rebuild-fern-hollow-bridge/

Julia Felton, “$25.3M in federal funding set aside to replace Pittsburgh’s collapsed Fern Hollow Bridge,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 1, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/25-3m-in-federal-funding-set-aside-to-replace-pittsburghs-collapsed-fern-hollow-bridge/

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh looks to create infrastructure commission in wake of Fern Hollow Bridge collapse,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 1, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-looks-to-create-infrastructure-commission-in-wake-of-fern-hollow-bridge-collapse/

Ryan Deto, “12 infrastructure fails in the Pittsburgh region, including Fern Hollow Bridge,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 3, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/regional/12-infrastructure-fails-in-the-pittsburgh-region-including-fern-hollow-bridge/

Ryan Deto, “Allegheny County has plans to repair all of its poorly rated bridges,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 3, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/allegheny-county-has-plans-to-repair-all-of-its-poorly-rated-bridges/

Ross Guidotti, “Road Conditions In Pittsburgh: Morning After 2 Days Of Storms Sees Streets Both Good And Bad,” KDKA-TV, February 5, 2022, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/02/05/road-conditions-pittsburgh/

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh looks to add more plows to address concerns about snow, ice removal,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-looks-to-add-more-plows-to-address-concerns-about-snow-ice-removal/

WTAE, “Fern Hollow bridge collapse in Pittsburgh: National Transportation Safety Board releases preliminary report,” February 7, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-bridge-collapse-ntsb-preliminary-report-fern-hollow/39004013

WTAE, “Port Authority closes bridge that carries South Busway after portion of bridge shifts,” February 7, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/port-authority-closes-bridge-that-carries-south-busway-in-mt-washington-after-portion-of-bridge-shifts/38987895

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh to add 12 snowplows to city fleet for rest of winter,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 8, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-to-add-12-snow-plows-to-city-fleet-for-rest-of-winter/

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh City Council divided on creating infrastructure committee in wake of bridge collapse,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 10, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-city-council-divided-on-creating-infrastructure-committee-in-wake-of-bridge-collapse/

WTAE, “Versailles Avenue Bridge in McKeesport closed following inspection,” February 11, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/mckeesport-versailles-avenue-bridge-closed-inspection/39047296

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh’s poorly rated South Negley Avenue Bridge slated for repairs,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 18, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburghs-poorly-rated-south-negley-avenue-bridge-slated-for-repairs/

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh adopts measures intended to strengthen focus on city’s infrastructure,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 1, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-adopts-measures-intended-to-strengthen-focus-on-citys-infrastructure/

Megan Tomasic, “Potholes are wreaking havoc again, leaving drivers swerving and road crews scrambling,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review< March 1, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/regional/potholes-are-wreaking-havoc-again-leaving-drivers-swerving-and-road-crews-scrambling/

Julia Felton, “Mayor Gainey says Pittsburgh will reinspect all city-owned bridges in poor condition,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 8, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/mayor-gainey-says-pittsburgh-will-reinspect-all-city-owned-bridges-in-poor-condition/

Nick Matoney, “Snow-covered roads in the Pittsburgh area,” WTAE, March 12, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/snow-covered-roads-in-the-pittsburgh-area/39415760

Jonathan D. Silver et al., “Pittsburgh-area bridges left in chronic disrepair as funding system leaves some of the worst spans behind,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 13, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2022/03/13/pittsburgh-area-bridges-chronic-disrepair-funding-system/stories/202203130044

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh plans to repave 39 miles of streets; work starts Monday,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 15, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-to-begin-street-paving-monday-plans-to-repave-39-miles-of-streets/

Sam D. Hamill, “Fern Hollow Bridge was severely decaying before collapse, 2021 report indicates,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 19, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2022/05/19/fern-hollow-bridge-inspection-2021-report-severely-decaying-rust-corrosion-penndot/stories/202205190154

Ed Blazina, “Southwestern Pa. transportation funding plan includes more money for Pittsburgh-area bridges,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 23, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2022/05/23/southwestern-pennsylvania-commission-transportation-plan-bridge-funding-infrastructure-stimulus/stories/202205210040

Ed Blazina, “PennDOT considers variable speed limits, ramp gates and message boards to improve Parkway East traffic,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 24, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2022/05/23/penndot-parkway-east-traffic-improvements-variable-speed-limits-message-boards/stories/202205230094

Mark Belko, “Pittsburgh International Airport decides against closing its longest runway,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 7, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2022/06/07/pittsburgh-international-airport-runway-10-right-28-left-christina-cassotis-faa-cargo-911th-airlift-wing-171st-air-refueling/stories/202206070051

Nick Matoney, “15 days of restrictions: Pittsburgh drivers should prepare for slowdowns on the Parkway East,” WTAE, June 7, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/15-days-of-restrictions-pittsburgh-drivers-should-prepare-for-slowdowns-on-the-parkway-east/40214850

Ed Blazina, “Goodbye Port Authority, hello Pittsburgh Regional Transit: Agency unveils new name, branding,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 9, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2022/06/09/port-authority-allegheny-county-new-name-pittsburgh-regional-transit-prt-pat-buses-t-light-rail/stories/202206090131

Sean D. Hamill, “Decades of Neglect,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 18, 2022, https://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/fern-hollow-bridge-pittsburgh-inspection-reports-repairs-collapse-engineer-neglect/

Paula Reed Ward, “Fern Hollow Bridge inspection troubling but did not suggest imminent danger, experts say,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 18, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/fern-hollow-bridge-inspection-had-troubling-findings-but-nothing-suggesting-collapse-was-imminent-experts-say/

Ed Blazina, “Moving on: Pennsylvania Turnpike finishes Southern Beltway, ready to begin Mon-Fayette Expressway,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 19, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2022/06/19/southern-beltway-mon-fayette-expressway-pennsylvania-turnpike/stories/202206160141

Angie Moreschi, “More E-ZPass customers getting $10 penalty charges,” WPXI, June 20, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/more-e-zpass-customers-getting-10-penalty-charges/AQFAZMCODJC5JF2ARZJYIMD46U/

Paula Reed Ward, “Pittsburgh argues against release of documents in Fern Hollow Bridge collapse civil case,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 23, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-argues-against-release-of-documents-in-fern-hollow-bridge-collapse-civil-case/

Jesse Bunch, “City blocks lawyer’s request for Fern Hollow Bridge documents,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 24, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/06/23/pittsburgh-blocks-lawyer-peter-giglione-request-for-fern-hollow-bridge-inspection-documents/stories/202206230150

Patrick Varine, “Turnpike interchange at I-79 and Southern Beltway now fully open,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 24, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/regional/turnpike-interchange-at-i-79-and-southern-beltway-now-fully-open/

Jon Moss, “Pa. Commonwealth Court permanently blocks Gov. Tom Wolf’s bridge tolling plan,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 30, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2022/06/30/pa-bridge-tolling-plan-blocked-commonwealth-court-judges-governor-tom-wolf-penndot/stories/202206300111

Andrew Goldstein, “Swindell Bridge shut down after construction work causes debris to fall onto I-279,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 1, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2022/07/01/swindell-bridge-shut-down-after-construction-work-causes-debris-to-fall-onto-i279/stories/202207010097

Megan Guza, “Swindell Bridge on Pittsburgh’s North Side closed after falling debris,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 1, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/swindell-bridge-on-pittsburghs-north-side-closed-after-falling-debris/

Julia Felton, “Gainey proposes $1.5M contract to assess 150 Pittsburgh bridges,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 5, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/mayors-bridge-safety-plan-introduced-to-pittsburgh-council/

Megan Guza, “Swindell Bridge in Pittsburgh closed indefinitely after maintenance work damages drainage trough,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 5, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/swindell-bridge-in-pittsburgh-closed-indefinitely-after-maintenance-work-damages-drainage-trough/

Hallie Lauer, “Pittsburgh taps WSP Global to evaluate all 150 city-owned bridges,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 5, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2022/07/05/pittsburgh-bridge-inspections-plan-mayor-ed-gainey-city-council-fern-hollow-swindell-wsp-global-infrastructure/stories/202207050063

Joe Napsha, “Emergency closure ordered for Washington Avenue Bridge in Swissvale,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 7, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/washington-avenue-bridge-in-swissvale-bridge-closed/

Mick Stinelli, “Washington Street Bridge in Swissvale closed because of ‘structural concerns,’” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 8, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/east/2022/07/08/washington-street-bridge-swissvale-closed-detour-bus-emergency/stories/202207080078

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh could spend $1.95 million to repair 30th Street Bridge,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 13, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-looks-to-hire-company-for-1-95-million-in-30th-street-bridge-repairs/

Ryan Deto, “First details of Swinburne Bridge replacement project revealed by city,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 14, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/first-details-of-swinburne-bridge-replacement-project-revealed-by-city/

Charlie Wolfson, “Pittsburgh officials seek ‘21st century’ bridge plan with $1.5M contract,” Public Source, August 4, 2022, https://www.publicsource.org/pittsburgh-bridges-plan-gainey-consultant-contract-fern-hollow-wsp/

Jamie Wiggan, “Pittsburgh’s Hill District prepares for $11 million infrastructure injection,” Pittsburgh City Paper, August 11, 2022, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburghs-hill-district-prepares-for-11-million-infrastructure-injection/Content?oid=22212279

Hannah Wyman, “Ed Gainey hears from residents on unsafe intersections by Fern Hollow Bridge,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 24, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2022/08/23/ed-gainey-residents-unsafe-intersections-fern-hollow-bridge-listening-session-infrastructure-squirrel-hill-bike-pedestrian-paths/stories/202208230114

Ryan Deto, “$11.3M in federal funding to go toward infrastructure improvements in Hill District,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 25, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/11-3m-in-federal-funding-to-go-toward-infrastructure-improvements-in-hill-district/

Patrick Damp, “Swindell Bridge reopens to traffic today,” KDKA-TV, September 1, 2022, https://www.cbsnews.com/pittsburgh/news/swindell-bridge-reopens-to-traffic-today/

Pete DeLuca, “PennDOT warning of delays for several months as construction starts on McKees Rocks Bridge,” WPXI, September 6, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/penndot-warning-delays-several-months-construction-starts-mckees-rocks-bridge/JQXVVH2GGFG3JH2QLKZ4OXVGKU/

Daniel Gilman, “There are 43,000 deficient bridges in the US/29 in the City. . . .,” Twitter, September 14, 2022, https://twitter.com/danielgilman/status/1570151445776957441

Bill Peduto, “The ‘average’ formula to repair/replace a bridge is . . .,” Twitter, September 15, 2022, https://twitter.com/billpeduto/status/1570230022044258304

  1. [2]David Wenner, “Sinkhole swallows part of bus in downtown Pittsburgh,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, October 29, 2019, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/10/sink-hole-swallows-pittsburgh-bus.html

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