Second Anniversary of Fern Hollow Bridge Collapse Highlights Urgent Need for Corrosion Control in National Infrastructure

 Sunday, January 28, 2024, marks the second anniversary of the tragic Fern Hollow bridge collapse near Frick Park in Pittsburgh. This tragedy brought to light the significant vulnerabilities in America’s infrastructure, with a particular focus on the critical issue of corrosion.

The Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP), the global authority in materials protection and performance, is at the forefront of establishing standards and training to enhance infrastructure maintenance. A key part of AMPP’s mission involves advocating for important legislation, such as the Bridge Corrosion Prevention and Repair Act, sponsored by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).

Senator Casey emphasized the importance of this legislation in the context of infrastructure safety.

“The Fern Hollow Bridge collapse underscored the importance of taking corrosion prevention seriously. We need strong federal standards to make sure that we are using properly trained workers and leveraging existing expertise when performing this vital work on our Nation’s bridges,” he said. “The Bridge Corrosion Prevention and Repair Act will ensure we invest Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act dollars responsibly — using proven practices and experienced workers who make Pennsylvania’s bridges safer and stronger.”

Adding to the urgency of this matter, Tim Gonzalez, the AMPP Director of Advocacy and Corporate Outreach, highlighted the broader implications of such legislation.

“As we mark the second anniversary of the Fern Hollow bridge collapse, President Biden’s recent warning about the deteriorating John A. Blatnik Memorial Bridge underscores the urgent need for proactive corrosion prevention,” Gonzalez remarked. “AMPP supports the Bridge Corrosion Prevention and Repair Act, championed by Sen. Bob Casey, as a crucial legislative effort to ensure federal standards, trained workers, and the prevention of catastrophic failures in America’s infrastructure.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report on the Fern Hollow incident further reinforced the critical nature of these issues. The report detailed how more than 10,000 bridges in the United States have been built using uncoated weathering steel, which, if properly maintained, can last for decades. However, failure to maintain such structures can lead to significant corrosion, deterioration, and reduced safety and service life.

In light of the Fern Hollow tragedy and recent concerns raised by President Biden, AMPP reiterates the need for stringent corrosion control measures in the design, construction, and maintenance of critical infrastructure. Through their guidelines and training focused on material selection, surface preparation, application and inspection of coatings, and cathodic protection systems, AMPP plays a vital role in preventing corrosion-related deterioration and ensuring the safety and longevity of essential structures.

AMPP
Jennifer Kramer, APR
1-330-714-8302
https://www.ampp.org

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Hong Kong – Second phase of XBB COVID-19 vaccination arrangements to start next Thursday

Second phase of XBB COVID-19 vaccination arrangements to start next Thursday

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     The Government today (January 12) announced that the second phase of vaccination arrangements of XBB mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will start on January 18, and appealed to members of the public, especially high-risk groups, to be vaccinated as soon as possible in order to enhance personal protection. The Government reiterated that, all currently available COVID-19 vaccines, including inactivated, mRNA ancestral strain or bivalent, and XBB vaccines are effective in preventing severe illness and death. To protect personal health, eligible persons may continue to choose to receive any currently available COVID-19 vaccines.

     The first phase of XBB COVID-19 vaccination arrangements has been rolled out on December 14 last year, with resources focused on providing vaccination services for adult residents at residential care homes (RCHs) and the elderly aged 65 or above. The vaccination figure increased visibly after the launch of the first phase, with a total of about 45 000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines being administered as of yesterday (January 11), among which about 31 000 doses were XBB mRNA vaccine. As the vaccination figure of the above-mentioned group has stabilised, the Government will roll out the second phase of the XBB COVID-19 vaccines arrangement, which will be extended to cover other high-risk priority groups, including persons aged 50 to 64, adults aged 18 to 49 with underlying comorbidities, persons aged 6 months or above and with immunocompromising conditions, pregnant women and healthcare workers.

     Starting from 9am on January 18, all high-risk priority groups (i.e. persons aged 50 or above, adults aged 18 to 49 with underlying comorbidities, persons aged 6 months or above with immunocompromising conditions, pregnant women and healthcare workers) can make a booking through the Government online booking system at booking.covidvaccine.gov.hk/forms/index.jsp. They can receive XBB COVID-19 vaccine for completing their initial or booster dose from that day at relevant vaccination venues. If necessary, eligible persons can seek assistance for making online bookings from post offices (except mobile post offices). 

     The Government has been striving to facilitate access to COVID-19 vaccines for high-risk priority groups, and is progressively increasing the number of vaccination venues in view of the second phase vaccination arrangement, including a general outpatient clinic (GOPC) under the Hospital Authority (HA) (Tin Shui Wai (Tin Yip Road) Community Health Centre), as well as five Private Clinic COVID-19 Vaccination Stations (PCVSs) in Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan, Wong Tai Sin, Kwun Tong and Southern District. Also, non-member elderly people aged 65 or above can also make appointments at Wan Chai Elderly Health Centre (EHC) and Lek Yuen EHC. Together with the vaccination venues of the first phase, there are 19 PCVSs, one Children Community Vaccination Centre, 11 designated GOPCs under the HA, and two designated EHCs of the DH. Venues providing XBB vaccination can be found at the Annex.

     In addition, designated specialist outpatient clinics of the HA and designated EHCs of the DH will continue to provide XBB COVID-19 vaccines to attending patients and members respectively. The Government will also continue to provide vaccination for adult residents at RCHs for the elderly and RCHs for persons with disabilities through outreach services under the Residential Care Home Vaccination Programme.

     As Hong Kong has entered the influenza season and the local COVID-19 activity has also increased significantly, the Centre for Health Protection of the DH strongly urged high-risk groups to receive seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) and COVID-19 booster as soon as possible to lower the risks of serious illness and death. High-risk persons can receive a COVID-19 booster at least six months after the last dose of COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 infection (whichever is later). For the sake of convenience, COVID-19 vaccine can be co-administered with SIV. Details of receiving both COVID-19 vaccination and SIV are available online (www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/106096.html).

     A Government spokesman said, “The COVID-19 vaccines available in Hong Kong are all safe and effective, and fulfil quality requirements. The key to maintain the protection conferred by the vaccine is to receive suitable doses in a timely manner according to the vaccination schedule. The Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases under the CHP reiterated that all currently available COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing severe disease and death. The World Health Organization (WHO) also said that high-risk persons should receive booster doses at appropriate times to lower the risks of serious illness and death.”

     The Government noted the manufacture and supply of inactivated vaccine (i.e. CoronaVac/Sinovac) and reiterated that the local stock of relevant vaccine is adequate to cope with the expected use this year. The expert group of the WHO will have a meeting in March this year and it is anticipated that the meeting will discuss the recommendation on the use of COVID-19 vaccines, including variants to be covered by vaccines and the use of vaccines from different technology platforms.

     ​Details of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme can be found at the CHP’s website (www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/106934.html).

Hong Kong – CE officiates at Second Phase Opening-up of Sha Tau Kok Launching Ceremony (with photos/video)

CE officiates at Second Phase Opening-up of Sha Tau Kok Launching Ceremony (with photos/video)

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     ​The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, today (January 6) officiated at the Second Phase Opening-up of Sha Tau Kok Launching Ceremony. Mr Lee visited special attractions in Sha Tau Kok and kicked off a dragon boat performance, adding impetus to the opening-up of Sha Tau Kok.
      
     Noting at the launching ceremony that the Second Phase Opening-up of Sha Tau Kok is a milestone in the long-term development of the district, he said that the Government and the Sha Tau Kok Rural Committee identified together the most distinguished characteristics of Sha Tau Kok and created the “top 10 attractions”, “top 10 delicacies” and “top 10 cultural attractions”, which have drawn many tourists since the opening-up on January 1 this year. He said that from conception, implementation to promotion of the new positioning, the attractions and facilities of Sha Tau Kok are the result of the collaborative endeavor across government bureaux and departments, the district and the industry.
      
     After the launching ceremony, Mr Lee, accompanied by the Secretary for Security, Mr Tang Ping-keung, visited the old Sha Tau Kok Fire Station, which still retains its former appearance, and unveiled a century-old fire-fighting hand cart. Mr Lee also visited the Sha Tak Kok Post Office and bought postcards featuring the winning entries of a Sha Tau Kok photo competition. He stamped a postcard with the unique cachets designed by the Security Bureau (SB) and mailed it to colleagues in the SB to thank them for their efforts in promoting the opening-up.
      
     Mr Lee later visited the “Dried Seafood Street” located inside the Sha Tau Kok Market and chatted with a stall operator who sells Sha Tau Kok local specialties such as dried seafood, rice crackers and cha kwo (steamed sticky rice dumpling) to learn more about the stall’s business. Mr Lee also visited the Fish Lantern Square which displays scenes of the national intangible cultural heritage “Sha Tau Kok fish-lantern dance” and chatted with residents. He was briefed by Mr Tang on the implementation of the current phase of the opening-up and the new facilities.
      
     Next, Mr Lee arrived at the Sha Tau Kok Pier to kick off a dragon boat performance. He was greeted by the beating of drums from four dragon boat teams formed by the Hong Kong Police Force, the Immigration Department, the Customs and Excise Department and the Fire Services Department, as well as four dragon boat teams formed by residents of Sha Tau Kok. Mr Lee sounded the horn to mark the opening of the dragon boat performance in which the eight teams rowed together to the finish line, signifying the joint efforts in promoting the opening-up of Sha Tau Kok.
      
     The daily tourist quota under the Second Phase Opening-up of Sha Tau Kok includes 700 tour group visitors and 300 individual tourists. Tourists can visit all parts of Sha Tau Kok, except Chung Ying Street, from 7am to 9pm. Individual visitors can apply for a free electronic Tourism Closed Area Permit by logging onto the Hong Kong Police Force Online Applications Platform (www.es.police.gov.hk). The application process takes three working days. Tourists may also contact licensed travel agents directly to sign up for tours visiting Sha Tau Kok.
      
     Individual tourists are required to take public transport to Sha Tau Kok. Access by private vehicles is not allowed. Tourists may take the following transport options:
     (1) Bus route Nos. 78S (express) or 78K at MTR Sheung Shui Station or Fanling Station;
     (2) Minibus route No. 55K at MTR Sheung Shui Station and get off at the terminal; or
     (3) Bus route No. 277A at MTR Lam Tin Station.
      
     Please download the SB mobile application “Safeguard HK” to explore the “top 10 attractions”, “top 10 delicacies” and “top 10 cultural attractions” of Sha Tau Kok. Tourists can participate in a limited-time stamp collection game to redeem a free gift via the mobile application on a first-come, first-served basis while stocks last. The Hong Kong Tourism Board has also launched a thematic website offering information of the opening-up of Sha Tau Kok.
      
     Other officiating guests at the launching ceremony included Mr Tang; the Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr Kevin Yeung; the Chairman of the New Territories Heung Yee Kuk, Mr Kenneth Lau; Legislative Council Member Mr Yiu Pak-leung; the Commissioner for Tourism, Ms Vivian Sum; the Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Dr Pang Yiu-kai; the Chairman of Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, Mrs Gianna Hsu; and the Chairman of the Sha Tau Kok District Rural Committee, Mr Lee Koon-hung.

Japan – JCB launches second round of Red Guahan Shuttle Free Ride Campaign in Guam

JCB International Co., Ltd., the international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., Japan’s only international payment brand, and T.P. Micronesia, Inc. (Lam Lam Tours and Transportation), one of the JTB Corp.’s group companies, are launching the second round of “Red Guahan Shuttle Free Ride Campaign” in Guam from August 7th, 2023 to December 6th, 2023.

JCB provides a free ride on the Tumon Shuttle route of the Red Guahan Shuttle that connects Guam’s major shopping centers, Micronesia Mall and Guam Premier Outlets, via the hotel district. JCB cardmembers simply present JCB Cards[1] to the driver when they board the bus to get a free ride. JCB decided to launch the second round of the campaign since the one held in early 2023 was very popular with visitors from outside of Guam. This campaign is open for JCB cardmembers only (passengers accompanied by JCB cardmembers are not eligible)[2].

For more information, please visit here.
https://www.specialoffers.jcb/en/campaign/detail/red_shuttle_bus/60029/

JCB offers beneficial campaigns and convenient services to JCB cardmembers around the world. For more information about JCB Special Offers, please visit here. https://www.specialoffers.jcb/en/

About Red Guahan Shuttle

The Red Guahan Shuttle is a fixed route bus service that provides transportation in Guam, connecting Guam’s hotel districts to places such as major shopping centers.

About Lam Lam Tours and Transportation

T.P. Micronesia, Inc. dba Lam Lam Tours & Transportation owns a fleet of large buses, limousines, trolleys, and other vehicles and provides a variety of transportation services in Guam, including the Red Guahan Shuttle, shuttles between the airport and hotels, and chartered buses.

About JCB

JCB is a major global payment brand and a leading credit card issuer and acquirer in Japan. JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding worldwide in 1981. Its acceptance network includes about 43 million merchants around the world. JCB Cards are now issued mainly in Asian countries and territories, with more than 154 million cardmembers. As part of its international growth strategy, JCB has formed alliances with hundreds of leading banks and financial institutions globally to increase its merchant coverage and cardmember base. As a comprehensive payment solution provider, JCB commits to providing responsive and high-quality service and products to all customers worldwide. For more information, please visit: www.global.jcb/en/

Contact
Ayaka Nakajima
Corporate Communications
Tel: +81-3-5778-8353
Email: jcb-pr@info.jcb.co.jp

[1] Prepaid cards and virtual cards are not included.
[2] Those who are not eligible must purchase a ticket. (Children 5 years old and under travel free of charge)

Copyright ©2023 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

Japan – MHI to Issue The Second Series of Transition Bonds

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) submitted a revised shelf registration statement to the Director-General of the Kanto Local Finance Bureau today in preparation for its planned issuance of transition bonds via public offering in the Japanese bond market.

MHI was selected as a model example for the “2021 Climate Transition Finance Model Projects” being supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in March 2022, and issued its first transition bonds in September 2022. This will be our second issuance of transition bonds

The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group has defined two growth areas: “Energy Transition”, which aims to decarbonize the energy supply side, and “Smart Infrastructure”, which targets to realize the decarbonization, and promote the energy efficiency, manpower saving in the energy demand side. As part of the financing necessary for focusing on businesses in these areas, and promote decarbonization, electrification and intelligence in its existing businesses, MHI is utilizing ESG finance such as transition bonds and green bonds.

By issuing the bonds, MHI will diversify its financing methods, promote its energy transition initiatives, and contribute to realizing a Carbon Neutral society.

For more information, visit www.mhi.com/news/23072801.html.

About MHI Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, smart infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit www.mhi.com or follow our insights and stories on spectra.mhi.com.

Copyright ©2023 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.