Fern Hollow Bridge Collapse

Lawyers still have unanswered questions nearly 2 years after Fern Hollow Bridge collapse

PITTSBURGH — Big questions still remain after the Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed during rush hour last year. Lawyers say the City of Pittsburgh is making it harder for them to get answers.

Leaders gathered Friday to celebrate the replacement bridge’s completion, but the families who filed a lawsuit say they can’t celebrate just yet.

While the announcement makes the overall project construction more complete, lawyers for the victims still have many unanswered questions.

If you cross over the new Fern Hollow Bridge, you may notice that underneath, there’s now seating and artwork along the bridge.

Friday, Mayor Ed Gainey along with city leaders and artists announced the completion of the $250,000 art project.

But days like Friday are hard for some victims of the collapse.

Lawyer Peter Giglione represents Daryl Luciani, who was driving his bus across the Fern Hollow Bridge on the day of the collapse.

“He has a problem going near bridges to this day,” Giglione explained. “He was actually not even supposed to be working, they called him in and he was working overtime, it was his second time ever going over that bridge.”

The bridge collapsed on the morning of Jan. 28, 2022, leaving multiple people injured and making national headlines. While multiple reports have been released about the decaying state of the bridge, lawyers for the victims say they’re still not getting access to everything.

Giglione says city lawyers recently blocked his attempts to get contractor reports.

“We attempted to serve subpoenas to contractors that we believe had some involvement with that bridge during the relevant time period,” he explained. “And the city has filed objections.”

Giglione cited an NTSB report, showing drains so clogged that weeds were growing out and almost completely covering a grate.

“One of their preliminary findings is that water didn’t properly drain from that bridge and caused excessive deterioration of the underside of the bridge over a shorter period of time. We need to find out who was responsible for cleaning those drains,” Giglione said.

Mayor Gainey wasn’t available at Friday’s ceremony, but we asked his press secretary. She said she wasn’t able to comment due to ongoing litigation and the NTSB investigation.

A judge will have to make a ruling on those documents and records, a court date hasn’t been set.

The NTSB’s final report has not yet been released.

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