President Biden Visits Fern Hollow Bridge

Oct. 20, 2022
President Biden stresses the importance of keeping up with infrastructure

President Biden visited Pittsburgh today at the site of the Fern Hollow Bridge to highlight the importance of investing in infrastructure and the importance of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). He was joined by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.

The Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed earlier this year on January 28. The cause of the investigation is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

"The collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge was a visceral reminder that Pennsylvania, like many states, is in a race against time to repair aging infrastructure," said Gov. Wolf. "This problem isn't unique to our state, but we need solutions urgently – because our communities deserve to know that they can rely on the safety of the bridges, roads and other infrastructure they use every single day."

Immediately after the collapse of the Fern hollow Bridge, Gov. Wolf and Mayor Gainey issued a Declaration of Disaster Emergency Proclamations, which allowed Pittsburgh to enter into a legal agreement to allow the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to manage the design and construction of the new Fern Hollow Bridge. The Proclamations also provided the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and PennDOT the approval to immediately contract with Swank Construction Company and HDR Inc. for the removal of the collapsed bridge, as well as the design and construction of the new structure.

The bridge is expected to be open to traffic by the end of 2022, thanks to the collaboration between the City of Pittsburgh and PennDOT.

Substructure and superstructure work have been completed on the new bridge, and concrete deck placement work is expected to conclude by late October. Bridge barrier installation, the completion of abutment and wingwalls, and roadway tie-ins to the bridge are anticipated to be finished by late December to allow the bridge to open to a single-lane of bi-directional traffic while work continues into early 2023.

The IIJA allowed PennDOT to quickly dedicate $25.3 million in funds to the new structure.

"Without the new BIL funds, we would have been scrambling to find the money to quickly replace the Fern Hollow Bridge, and other important projects would have been impacted," said Gov. Wolf. "There's no question that these new funds have been a gamechanger for Pennsylvania, not only for this project, but across the commonwealth.

"This is the power of federal infrastructure investments in Pennsylvania. At the site of a tragedy that took place less than 8 months ago, we now have a bridge that is nearing completion. Those federal dollars will also help us speed up other repair and replacement projects across the commonwealth, so we can keep more Pennsylvanians safer, support more union jobs, and ensure that Pennsylvania's infrastructure can stand up to our 21st century needs."

For more information on the new Fern Hollow Bridge, be sure to check out PennDOT's website here.


Source: PennDOT

Sponsored Recommendations

The Science Behind Sustainable Concrete Sealing Solutions

Extend the lifespan and durability of any concrete. PoreShield is a USDA BioPreferred product and is approved for residential, commercial, and industrial use. It works great above...

Proven Concrete Protection That’s Safe & Sustainable

Real-life DOT field tests and university researchers have found that PoreShieldTM lasts for 10+ years and extends the life of concrete.

Revolutionizing Concrete Protection - A Sustainable Solution for Lasting Durability

The concrete at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center is subject to several potential sources of damage including livestock biowaste, food/beverage waste, and freeze/thaw...

The Future of Concrete Preservation

PoreShield is a cost-effective, nontoxic alternative to traditional concrete sealers. It works differently, absorbing deep into the concrete pores to block damage from salt ions...