Bob Chalker, CEO of the Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP), issued this statement on Friday, Jan. 28, following the collapse of the Fern Hollow bridge near Frick Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“Today’s collapse of the Fern Hollow bridge in Pittsburgh is
another stark reminder of the instability of our nation’s infrastructure. Our
thoughts are with the Pittsburgh community and those affected by this disaster.
Like this bridge, so many others in Pennsylvania and nationwide are listed in
“poor” condition by state departments of transportation.”
“While the experts have
considerable work ahead of them to identify the cause, all too often it is
extensive corrosion and deterioration which leaves a bridge vulnerable to this
type of collapse. It is critical that action is taken to rebuild and reinforce
the infrastructure so many Americans rely on every day.”
“AMPP urges policymakers
to engage corrosion and protective coatings experts to ensure best practices
are used throughout the design, construction, and maintenance of these assets.
AMPP’s thousands of members nationwide stand ready to serve as a resource for
long-term infrastructure solutions.”
Member leaders within AMPP issued their own statements, as well.
Antonios Serdenes, AMPP Transportation Committee Chair:
“As we hear about another catastrophic bridge failure in our country today, we are saddened and frustrated. Saddened by the injuries caused by this failure and how easily it could have resulted in loss of life. Frustrated that this catastrophic collapse could have been prevented. Our infrastructure is in serious need of repair and maintenance. This includes paving, structural repairs for both steel and concrete, and more.”
“Also vital to maintaining these structures is corrosion mitigation. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually on corrosion protection through coating application, but unfortunately this is often done without proper evaluation of the existing coating system and any developing corrosion. Specifications are not covering all the issues that need to be addressed to protect steel from its environment and this is resulting in corrosion weakening steel components.”
“AMPP has a long history of working with those who service bridges, from government agencies to consultants and contractors and material suppliers. Through the development of standards for surface preparation, coating application, and environmental protection guidelines AMPP develops specifications that support corrosion protection. AMPP has also developed programs that prequalify painting contractors and fabrication shops that clean and coat steel, and training courses for coating specialists, cathodic protection, and coating inspectors. Through its standards, guidelines, and prequalification and training programs, AMPP is prepared to support all state and federal Department of Transportation efforts to combat corrosion throughout the United States.”
Kat Coronado, AMPP Technical Program Committee Chair:
“A bridge collapsed this morning in Pittsburgh, again emphasizing the vulnerability of our national infrastructure and the need for proper inspection and maintenance. Thankfully, the Pittsburgh bridge collapse did not result in fatalitie,s but there were some injuries in what was likely a preventable catastrophe.”
“It’s too early to determine the cause of the collapse, as the investigation is just beginning, but the bridge was reportedly inspected last September and presumably found fit for purpose. AMPP’s Technical Program Committee is following the investigation closely and will determine whether to form a Task Force similar the one we have looking into the Surfside Building Collapse. The results of the investigation(s) may influence AMPP’s current education, training, standards, and other technical activities involving coating inspection and corrosion evaluation.”
Source: AMPP, www.ampp.org.