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Pittsburgh bridge deemed safe months before collapse

Bridge Collapse Pittsburgh
This is the Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh that collapsed Friday morning Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Officials are reporting that the Pittsburgh bridge that collapsed injuring several people on Friday, was deemed not bad enough to close during an inspection in September.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation revealed it’s findings on Monday stating that the Forbes Avenue bridge received a poor rating of a 4 on a scale from 0 to 9.

Despite noticeable deterioration, the decision was made to maintain the 26-ton (24,000 kilo) posted weight limit put on the bridge in 2014 instead of closing it:

“This bridge’s design relies on the quality of frame elements alone without any back-up support (known as redundancy) and reports show deterioration that did not warrant closure, but supported the imposition of a posted weight limit to restrict the weight of loads,” Campbell said in an email.

Hours before President Biden was set to arrive in the area to discuss a federal infrastructure law, the bridge collapsed injuring several people.

Witnesses reported having to form a human-chain in order to rescue others from the debris.

As of Monday, crews worked to siphon gasoline from the damaged vehicles stuck on the bridge and cranes have been brought in to remove the rubble.
Only one person is said to still be receiving treatment at a hospital.