Car catches fire on Elizabeth Bridge
No injuries were reported when the engine of a car caught fire on Thursday afternoon in the southbound lanes of the Elizabeth Bridge.
“It was contained to the engine compartment of the car,” Elizabeth Fire Chief Chad Rager said.
Rager's volunteers responded shortly after 1:30 p.m. to the bridge carrying Route 51 over the Monongahela River between West Elizabeth and Elizabeth.
“The southbound lanes were shut down because of the heavy smoke,” Rager said. “We kept the northbound lanes open.”
Elizabeth firefighters quickly extinguished the engine blaze and the span officially known as the Regis R. Malady Bridge was open again to traffic by 2:30.
Elizabeth police and Elizabeth Township Area EMS crews responded, while Jefferson Hills police offered assistance on the West Elizabeth side of the bridge.
“(Traffic) was backed up all the way into Jefferson Hills over the Large hill,” Rager said.
The bridge remains one of the busiest in Allegheny County, despite last year's weight posting that limited vehicles to no more than 32 tons for trucks and 40 tons for combinations.
Prior to the posting the average daily volume was 14,036 vehicles including 1,123 trucks. A detour required by the posting via Clairton, Glassport and downtown Elizabeth may have taken 600 trucks off the Elizabeth Bridge.
PennDOT's Pittsburgh area spokesman said the fire did not affect the bridge.
“Our bridge crew checked it out,” PennDOT District 11's Steve Cowan said. “There was no damage to the bridge at all.”
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.