The collapsed Pittsburgh bridge remained open after September review, though deteriorating

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The collapsed Pittsburgh bridge remained open after September review, though deteriorating

[ad_1] PITTSBURGH — The bridge over a park ravine that collapsed in Pittsburgh last week showed deterioration during a September inspection but it w

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PITTSBURGH — The bridge over a park ravine that collapsed in Pittsburgh last week showed deterioration during a September inspection but it was not bad enough to require its closure, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said Monday.

The agency will not release the full inspection report, PennDOT press secretary Alexis Campbell said, citing state and federal laws and the ongoing investigation into the Friday morning failure of the Forbes Avenue bridge over Fern Hollow Creek in the city’s Frick Park.

Campbell did provide some details about the inspection four months ago, including that there has been a 26 ton (24,000 kilo) posted weight limit on the bridge since 2014.

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As with previous inspections, the Sept. 29 examination rated the steel “K-frame” bridge a 4 on a scale from zero to 9, or a “poor” rating.

“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 told The Associated Press in an email.

The structure, built five decades ago, is one of six bridges with similar designs in the state. Campbell said the reasons it failed and collapsed remain unclear and are the subject of ongoing investigations.

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A team from the National Transportation Board was still at the scene on Monday as crews were siphoning gasoline and bringing in cranes to lift five vehicles and a city bus off the crumpled remains of the bridge.

There were no fatalities but a few people required hospital treatment, and as of Monday one adult was still getting care inside a UPMC facility, a hospital system spokeswoman said.

Gas lines along the bridge ruptured, causing a large gas leak and evacuation of nearby homes.

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The collapse occurred hours before President Joe Biden arrived in Pittsburgh to tout a federal infrastructure law that has earmarked about $1.6 billion for Pennsylvania bridge work.

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