FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 4, 2022
Mayor Ed Gainey and Wolf Administration Announce Federal Funding for Repair of Fern Hollow Bridge
PITTSBURGH – Mayor Ed Gainey and Governor Tom Wolf announced today that up to $25.3 million in federal funding has been made available for the repair of Fern Hollow Bridge. The federal funds are a direct result of the additional funds made available in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2022 from the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Law and will not impact any regionally funded projects.
“The City is thankful for the financial and engineering support that PennDOT will be able to provide as a result of this funding announcement,” said Mayor Gainey. “My Administration will continue to work with our state and federal partners to repair the bridge in a safe and expeditious manner. Additionally, I look forward to working with the Governor and PennDOT to maximize local, small, and Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Owned Business participation in this project.”
“Pennsylvania is thankful for the steadfast commitment from the Biden Administration to rebuild this bridge and help the people of Pittsburgh move past this startling event,” said Gov. Wolf. “It is our hope that we can rebuild this bridge as quickly and efficiently as possible. While the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will go a long way to support our nation and our commonwealth, we must heed this collapse as a sign that we must take steps at the state level to prevent a future tragedy. Members of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly must come together in a bipartisan fashion to enact long-term funding solutions for our own infrastructure system.”
The City of Pittsburgh and the Wolf Administration have finalized a Reimbursement Grant Agreement which will allow the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to design and construct a new structure at the site of the Fern Hollow Bridge. PennDOT will be responsible for contract development, letting and award, design development activities, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, and other items related to the design and construction of the new bridge. Once the project is completed the City will assume jurisdiction over and maintenance responsibility of the bridge. This agreement allows the Wolf Administration to execute an emergency contract with Swank Construction Company/HDR Inc. to immediately begin design efforts and mobilize to remove the existing bridge.
“Partnership and collaboration will be critical in delivering a new structure on Forbes Avenue,” said PennDOT District Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni. “The Department looks forward to working with Mayor Gainey’s team to expedite the reconstruction of this bridge for the travelers in our region.”
On Friday, Governor Wolf and Mayor Gainey invited President Joe Biden to visit the site of the bridge, which collapsed earlier that morning. The governor then took swift action hours later, signing a proclamation of disaster emergency for Allegheny County to ensure quick response for reconstruction.
Following these actions, Mayor Gainey signed a declaration of disaster emergency for the bridge collapse. The declaration will increase the availability of federal funds, facilitate continued coordination between PennDOT and Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI), and will help expedite the process of cleanup and reconstruction of the bridge.
In the coming days and weeks, the Office of the Mayor will provide additional information about the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse as it becomes available. Until the release of its final report, all questions regarding the investigation, including the cause, and status of the investigation will be addressed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).