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Bridge Steel Innovator Joe Bachta Dies at 84

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Joseph A. Bachta, owner and president of International Bridge & Iron Co., Newington, Conn., who fabricated structural steel for many landmark bridges and buildings in the Northeast, died on Nov. 29, 2010, of cardiac arrest in Hartford, Conn. He was 84.

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Bachta founded the steel fabricator in 1992 and also served as general manager and assistant to the president of Standard Structural Steel Co., also based there, from 1960 to 1990. Projects on which he worked as fabricator include Boston’s Central Artery/Tunnel; the Trident submarine base in Groton, Conn.; the Thames River bridge in Montville, Conn.; skyscrapers in Manhattan, Boston and Hartford; and the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, also in Groton, says his daughter Linda Lough, an engineer and International Bridge executive vice president. Click here for link to Lough’s blog about her father.

ENR named Bachta a Marksman in 1975 for designing and building a massive twin-boom floating derrick for the Gold Star project to lift the 1,350-ton bridge spans after realizing that available equipment would have been inadequate. He also fabricated the nation’s first trapezoidal box girders for bridge work, says Lough. Click here to read ENR’s story about Bachta’s accomplishment.

Bachta was a lifetime member of the Connecticut Society of Professional Engineers. “Not many people are as lucky as I was to get to work so close to someone like him,” she says. Bachta’s son, Robert, is executive vice president of DeLong’s Inc., a Jefferson, Mo., structural steel fabricator.


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