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There’s now an observation area at the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse site

Kiley Koscinski
90.5 WESA
Public works crews put up signs Monday to direct Pittsburghers to a viewing site at the Fern Hollow Bridge.

Curious spectators can now visit the Fern Hollow Bridge wreckage at a public observation site, city officials announced Monday. The site is located on the Squirrel Hill side of the bridge.

Police struggled to keep onlookers away from the area over the weekend, according to Acting Public Safety Director Lee Schmidt. Officials hope the observation site will alleviate that issue.

Frick Park, except for an area within 100 yards of the collapse site, also reopened Monday.

“We understand everyone’s desire to come take a look,” he said. “We did have many people coming into the site, climbing up, trying to traverse very steep inclines and hills [with] mud and snow.”

Fortunately, no one was injured over the weekend as a result of visiting the site, Schmidt said. Many hikers took trails through Frick Park to get closer to the site.

Kiley Koscinski
90.5 WESA
A sign along Beechwood Blvd directs visitors to the new observation site.

The new observation area will be open from dawn to dusk every day. Visitors can access the site by walking down Forbes Avenue from South Dallas Avenue to the bridge or by taking the Clayton Loop trail from the Frick Environmental Center. Bicycles and scooters are also permitted.

Forbes Avenue remains closed to vehicle traffic from South Dallas Avenue up to the bridge.

Street parking for several dozen vehicles is available from the Beechwood Boulevard cut to South Dallas Avenue, according to public safety. Visitors can also park at the Frick Environmental Center.

Police will be stationed at the observation center at all hours, according to Schmidt. Fencing and tape indicate the 100-yard perimeter around the bridge.

Anyone found violating the perimeter to get a better look could face criminal trespassing charges.

While most of Frick Park reopened Monday, Tranquil Trail will stay closed within a 100-yard radius of the bridge. Undercliff Trail remains closed.

The Biddle and Homewood trails in Frick Park also reopened Monday.

Public safety officials declined to provide an update about the investigation into the collapse Monday or information about new detours as a result of the downed bridge.

It remains unclear when the bus and five vehicles stuck in the wreckage will be removed. Crews were removing fuel from the Port Authority bus Monday morning.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said last week the Fern Hollow Bridge showed signs of deterioration but not enough to require its closure. A team from the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the collapse.

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.