Frankel, Salisbury issue statements after NTSB meeting to determine probable cause of Fern Hollow Bridge collapse

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 21 – State Reps. Dan Frankel and Abigail Salisbury, both D-Allegheny, issued the following statements after the National Transportation Safety Board voted today to adopt final findings, probable cause and recommendations regarding the January 2022 collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge.

“We used up all of our luck when no lives were lost in that catastrophic collapse,” Frankel said. “We have to learn every single thing we can from it, and use government cooperation, regulation and funding to make sure that we never again need luck to keep our residents safe as they travel our roads and bridges.

“It’s good news that since the incident, the city has been working to identify and prioritize bridge repair projects, that it has taken other steps to prevent a similar incident and that it will be guided by the NTSB’s recommendations moving forward.

“But expanding our inspections and strengthening our protocols is only half the battle. We also need to step up investment in our infrastructure and work to leverage more federal funding available through President Biden’s Infrastructure Act. In the months ahead, I'll be working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that our district benefits from those funding opportunities.”

Salisbury said, “Although, thankfully, the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse claimed no lives, it was a stark reminder that our aging infrastructure poses urgent demands requiring immediate action. The city’s work to identify high-priority projects and add more inspection and maintenance staff are important steps, but it’s also critical that we work together at the state level to ensure local projects benefit from the billions in federal infrastructure dollars coming our way.

“We need to make sure that this funding finds its way to our region for projects that create jobs while strengthening our infrastructure, and we also need to make sure those job opportunities reach diverse and under-represented workers in the trades. We have the resources for those kinds of investments, and we need to work together with our community and workforce partners to see them come to fruition here in the district.”

The NTSB estimates that the full final report will be available on its website in several weeks, with an executive summary available sooner.

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