Ponte Lenzino Temporary Bridge
Bobbio, Italy | 2021
The Fern Hallow bridge in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania collapsed in January 2022. That very same day President Joe Biden was visiting the city to talk about his infrastructure bill. The city declared it an emergency to fix the bridge ASAP. They chose to HDG pieces of this bridge to ensure this never happens again.
Choosing a duplex system here is a no brainer. I hope that the use of HDG can show the nation that cutting corners in infrastructure is unacceptable.
On Jan 28, 2022 the Fern Hallow Bridge experienced a total collapse. It was a tragedy with injured motorists being trapped on and under the collapsed structure. The 447-foot bridge was built in 1970. There were four cars and a bus on the bridge at the time of the collapse. The city of Pittsburgh declared an emergency to fix the bridge ASAP. Ironically the president of the United States, Joe Biden, was arriving in Pittsburgh that morning to discuss infrastructure spending bill. He visited the sight hours after collapse while they were still hoisting vehicles from the rubble. 25.3 million in federal funding had been made available for the reparation project following the collapse. The bridge is set to be finished before Christmas 2022.
Couple things we can take away from this catastrophe. Spending on infrastructure needs to be expedited in situations like this. Which it was, and the bridge will be completed in a little under a year. Bridges in poor condition can kill/injure people, even when the key issues are preventable. Bridge failures also impact the economy in very negative ways. The 14,000 vehicles crossing that bridge daily were redirected slowing the rest of the city down and costing more fuel. Lastly, under bridge utility protection is a very important part of bridge maintenance. A natural gas line was fractured when the bridge collapsed and people caught in the rubble were treated for natural gas exposure. The choice to use hot-dip galvanizing was made to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.
Thankfully, the general contractor and designers chose to use hot-dip galvanized steel on this bridge. The guardrail on the barriers is one of the items galvanized. They went to Envirosafe painting after being hot-dip galvanized in the kettle. So, this duplex system will offer the maximum protection from the elements. The bridge spans a deep ravine. This means maintenance under the bridge and inspection is difficult. Pittsburgh is home to more bridges than any other city in the world. The sheer number of bridges that need to be maintained is one of the contributing factors to the collapse. This area of Pennsylvania endures sweltering humidity in the summer and long cold and wet winters. On top of that, the salt and brine spread on the road is a corrosive as it is helpful. Choosing a duplex system here is a no brainer. I hope that the use of HDG can show the nation that cutting corners in infrastructure is unacceptable.
Bridge & Highway
Pittsburgh, PA United States
Aesthetics, Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Ease of Specifying, Initial Cost, Life-Cycle Cost, Prior HDG Experience, Quality of HDG, Sustainability, Turnaround Time
The barrier mounted guard rail
Young Galvanizing, Inc.
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