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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Bridge in Pittsburgh Collapses Ahead of President Biden’s Speech on Infrastructure


Collapsed bridge in Pittsburgh | Image by @gainey_ed on Twitter

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PPG) reports that ten people were injured when a bridge in that city, known to have been in poor condition for the last ten years, collapsed. 

Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said three people were transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey told the PPG, “We were fortunate” that no one was killed.

The Baltimore Sun reported that the two-lane bridge, located on Forbes Avenue over Fern Hollow Creek in Frick Park, came down just before 7 a.m.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s website, which tracks bridges across the state, the bridge that collapsed this morning had an “overall condition” rating of “poor.”

Rescuers had to rappel nearly 150 feet while others formed a human chain to help rescue occupants of a Pittsburgh Port Authority bus that dangled between two pieces of the broken bridge.

According to photos from the scene, at least four vehicles collided with the bridge, and an articulated Port Authority bus was trapped on a slab of the bridge’s remains.

The building collapsed just hours before President Joe Biden’s scheduled visit to the city to discuss infrastructure, Yahoo News reported.

Biden is expected to continue his visit and promote his infrastructure bill, which will provide $1.63 billion in federal bridge funding to Pennsylvania, the third-highest amount of any state. The Infrastructure bill allocates $27 billion to repair and reconstruct bridges around the nation. 

KDKA-TV, the Pittsburgh CBS affiliate, reported that people in the area of the incident heard what “sounded like a huge snow plow… pushing along the surface with no snow”.

Residents were asked to stay away from the area after public safety officials confirmed that a gas line under the bridge had been damaged. A strong natural gas odor was detected in the area, and the gas line was quickly shut off. 

According to MSN News, Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman described the bridge as “a vital infrastructure artery” for the city, saying, “It’s surreal this morning to see it completely collapsed.”

Fetterman said in a statement, “This collapse is just the latest in a long line of preventable, man-made disasters that prove what so many of us in Pennsylvania and around the country have been saying for years: Our infrastructure is failing our people.”

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