Several of Pittsburgh's most common bridges are ‘functionally obsolete'

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PITTSBURGH —

In response to Thursday’s frightening bridge collapse in the state of Washington, Channel 11’s Trisha Pittman checked up on the work happening in Pittsburgh to inspect the bridges in our area.

The Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Street bridges are all closed because crews are inspecting them and testing their structural integrity.

Pittman reported that officials told her the bridges, while they have never been deemed deficient in any way, are considered functionally obsolete.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 American Infrastructure Reports, 4,370 or 19.3 percent of Pennsylvania’s bridges are considered functionally obsolete.

The term functionally obsolete means the design is not suitable for its current use.

Even though the bridges have a lack of safety shoulders or the inability to handle current-day traffic volume, speed, size or weight – motorists use them every day.

The report also found that the Ft. Pitt, Portal and Ft. Duquesne bridges are also considered functionally obsolete. This is because they were built in the 1950s and 60s, and are no longer up to par with today’s super structures.

Functionally obsolete bridges are not in danger of collapsing, they’re simply outdated.