Fern Hollow Bridge collapse viewing area closed 'indefinitely' just 2 days after opening

The observation platform meant to satisfy curious onlookers of the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse site was short-lived, as Pittsburgh officials shut it down indefinitely Wednesday morning as crews prepare to rebuild the well-traveled span.

The public viewing area, opened Monday on the Squirrel Hill side of the Fern Hollow Bridge, drew dozens of visitors in the day and a half that it was open.

Public Safety officials said the closure comes as a PennDOT contractor begins staging large pieces of heavy equipment in the area in anticipation of the eventual rebuild. Neither pedestrians nor vehicles will be permitted on the stretch of Forbes Avenue off South Dallas Avenue.

Frick Park itself remains open, though Undercliff Trail is closed and Tranquil Trail is closed within a 100-yard area around the collapse site.

The bridge, part of Forbes Avenue, collapsed Friday morning, just before the usually busy rush hour. Ten people were injured when a Port Authority bus and four cars crashed more than 100 feet into the ravine below as the bridge gave way.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the collapse.

PennDOT said Tuesday that $25.3 million in federal funding has been allocated to replace the collapsed Fern Hollow Bridge, and the state transportation agency will assist in design and construction.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .