Fern Hollow Bridge should have been closed because of widespread corrosion before it collapsed, NTSB says

The Fern Hollow Bridge should have been closed before widespread corrosion and section loss caused its spectacular collapse in January 2022 in Frick Park, severely injuring several commuters, National Transportation Safety Board investigators said in a hearing Wednesday.

For more than a decade, local officials failed repeatedly to address known maintenance and repair recommendations that were outlined in inspection reports from 2005 to 2021, which led to continued deterioration and the eventual collapse of the bridge, according to investigators.

“Its conditions dictated that it should have been closed,” said Dan Walsh, structural engineer at the NTSB.

As part of its comprehensive investigation — which is expected to be released fully next month — the NTSB found that the city and state bridge inspection programs were “ineffective” and not compliant with federal and industry standards…

“The Fern Hollow Bridge collapse should never have happened.”

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