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Buchart Horn Provides Bridge to Safety for New Jersey

William Munz, PE, never knows when he might get a call. For instance, on a recent Saturday morning, his phone went off at 6:30.

A fire was raging beneath a bridge in Jersey City, New Jersey. The bridge was a heavily traveled, multi-span structure, and many of the steel beams that support it were bending in the heat.

As the on-call contractor for the Bureau of Operation Support and Engineering for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, Buchart Horn was being called to the scene to evaluate the situation and, if possible, develop a temporary support system to allow the safe opening of a maximum number of lanes.

Munz, who serves as Structures Department manager in Buchart Horn’s Marlton, NJ, office, recalls the emergency, saying, “Originally the whole bridge was closed down while the fire was happening, and then they opened up a couple lanes. We were asked to go out and evaluate it for any immediate danger to see what we could do to get more lanes open immediately. Not long term – immediately. We came up with some designs and some temporary supports so they could get an additional lane open.”

“That was a long day,” he says. “It was an 18-hour day.”

Then again, that’s what makes Buchart Horn such a valuable partner. In addition to providing routine engineering support statewide, Buchart Horn is ready with immediate response when necessary.

“Immediate response is not just the engineer getting onsite immediately,” Munz says. “Immediate response is, you get on site, you evaluate the situation, you come up with a solution that the contractor can get done as quickly as possible. It’s the whole package. It’s responding and then getting the work complete. We’re involved from the beginning to end, and that’s really what this is all about.”

Find out more about the bridge expertise Buchart Horn brings to the state of New Jersey, and to structural design and inspection in general in our Insight article.