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Update: PennDot Fines Contractor $3M for Liberty Bridge Fire

November 03, 2016

Contractor Joseph B. Fay Company is responsible for the September 2, 2016 fire on Pittsburgh's Liberty Bridge and now owes the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation $3,033,200 in penalties, according to a WPXI.com report.

A spark from a welding operation set fire to a PVC pipe, causing a tarp to flame and produce temperatures hot enough to bend the structure's 30-foot steel support beam. The bridge was closed for 24 days.

The company's $80 million contract with PennDot included for a $213,000 per-day penalty for bridge closures.

Frank Burg, a safety engineer and former Occupational Safety and Health Administration official, said parties often dispute such damages in court.

“No matter how it turns out, the question shouldn't be about this incident, because this is over now,” he said. “The question is: Are they going to do this right the next time to make sure it doesn't happen?”

Video and image: WPXI.com

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