Allegheny County

Construction starts at site of collapsed Fern Hollow Bridge, businesses hopeful for new customers

PITTSBURGH — Construction is now underway at the site of the collapsed Fern Hollow Bridge, welcome news to businesses in the area.

“We might get some business from the construction guys, but right now, a lot of people are avoiding this side of town until the bridge is done,” said Brian Shipkovitz, owner of Park Pizza & Cream.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: PHOTOS: A look at the bridge collapse through the eyes of the first responders

Construction on the new Fern Hollow Bridge in Frick Park started Monday and will continue on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the work is complete.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Couple hurt in Fern Hollow Bridge collapse suing Pittsburgh, PennDOT, Port Authority

According to our partners at the Trib, this week, crews will be drilling and boring holes for the bridge’s vertical supports.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: PHOTOS: Crews lift PAT bus hundreds of feet in the air after Pittsburgh bridge collapse

“I’m excited. I’m hoping it doesn’t take two to three years,” said Alex McFarland, server and bartender at Dive Bar & Grille.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: NTSB releases preliminary report on the Fern Hollow Bridge Collapse in Pittsburgh

Since the collapse three months ago, the South Braddock Ave. bar tells Channel 11, on occasion, they’ve had to close early due to a lack of customers.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Renderings released for new Fern Hollow Bridge; construction expected to start in April

“All of our dead periods are a lot more dead. We still get pops every once in a while like right now, we have a few tables but called off our closer tonight because it wasn’t financially smart,” said McFarland.

Right now, it’s unclear when the project will be completed.