Two Virginia Tech infrastructure and engineering experts are available to discuss this morning's bridge collapse in Pittsburgh, as President Biden is set to visit the area this afternoon to discuss the nation's infrastructure.

"Despite the bipartisan infrastructure bill's passage, there is still great need for the maintenance and upkeep of the country's roads and bridges," said Kevin Heaslip, an expert in transportation infrastructure. "It will take time for the funding from the bill to flow to states and be allocated for projects. Despite a nearly unprecedented funding amount in the bill, there is need for additional and ongoing funding to modernize and repair our critical transportation infrastructure."

Kevin Heaslip is a professor of civil and environmental engineering in The Charles Edward Via, Jr., Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. His areas of expertise include transportation infrastructure and operations, transportation cybersecurity, urban transportation planning, and transportation automation and electrification. View his bio.

Roberto Leon is the D.H. Burrows Professor of Construction Engineering in The Charles Edward Via, Jr., Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. His expertise includes forensic structural engineering, seismic behavior of bridges, reinforced concrete structures, and behavior and design of building materials, as well as experience investigating the causes of structural collapses. View his bio.

Both experts note that while it's still very early in the investigation, the bridge in question appears to have been listed in poor condition prior to collapse. 

Heaslip points to a 2018 report from the American Society of Civil Engineers that notes, "On average, Pennsylvania’s bridges are 15 years older than the national average and continue to be in need of repair and modernization. [...] Pennsylvania has more than double the national average of bridges rated in 'poor' condition."


Email Jordan Fifer in the Virginia Tech Media Relations office to schedule an interview.

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Note: The report from the American Society of Civil Engineers is from 2018. This information has been corrected above.

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