When an intense construction fire shut down one of Pittsburgh’s busiest bridges last September, fire trouble had not been completely unexpected.
While contractor Joseph B. Fay Co. renovated sections of the Liberty Bridge for the Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation, hot slag fell when ironworkers were using torches to cut steel beams, which another contractor would replace. The company was trying to stay on top of the risks in different ways; for example, each day, it assigned several fire watchers to spot trouble. The contractor’s senior superintendent said there were other fires involving plywood, all of which were extinguished with a hose, according to U.S. Labor Dept. documents reviewed by ENR.