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Bus lifted from Pittsburgh bridge collapse as 'poor' rating revealed

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Bus lifted from Pittsburgh bridge collapse as 'poor' rating revealed
A crane slowly lifts a 60-foot-long articulated Port Authority bus from the site of the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse on Monday in Frick Park in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Crew pulled a 21-ton bus on Monday from the debris of a collapsed Pittsburgh bridge that collapsed three days earlier as questions surfaced around why repairs were put off on the structure for years despite its "poor" rating.

Ten people were injured last Friday morning when the Fern Hollow Bridge over Frick Park collapsed.

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A 60-foot crane used multiple cables to lift the elongated bus from the crashed bridge. A crowd gathered as the whole process of lifting the bus took 20 minutes, highlighting the tragedy some officials said could have been much worse.

Questions have now cropped up about the condition of the bridge. Its deck and superstructure were both listed in poor condition since 2019, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The bridge had received an overall poor rating since 2011, according to records reviewed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Bridge inspectors said in 2017 that the bridge suffered from "general structure deterioration and inadequate strength" and called for a $1.5 million restoration. That work never got funding, but the City of Pittsburgh did $100,000 of work on the structure in 2019 after a resident took a picture of the rusting structure.

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Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O'Connor told WTAE-TV he will introduce a bill creating a new city commission to advise the city council on infrastructure and a second to improve the transparency of information.

The bridge collapse happened the same day President Joe Biden was visiting the Pittsburgh area to talk about his infrastructure law that passed Congress last year. He called the bridge collapse "unacceptable."

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