SOURCE: MATECH Corp.

September 08, 2009 13:42 ET

Bay Bridge Emergency Closure Should Motivate Legislature to Reauthorize the Equity Transportation Act, According to MATECH

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - September 8, 2009) - MATECH Corp. (OTCBB: MTCH) (MATECH) announced today that this past weekend's closure of the Bay Bridge is another reminder that neglect of our aging infrastructure poses a serious risk to the safety and welfare of the American public.

In 1967, the Silver Bridge in Pt. Pleasant, WV collapsed due to cracking in a critical eyebar. Similar cracking forced the emergency closure of the Bay Bridge this weekend. Over 280,000 vehicles cross the landmark bridge every day. .

After the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge, Congress passed the Transportation Equity Act, which mandated inspection of U.S. bridges every other year by federal law. Likewise, after the tragic collapse of the I-35W Bridge in Minnesota in 2007, Representative Oberstar, Chair of the Transportation Committee in the House, authored the critical Bridge Safety Bill. The Bill has since been incorporated into the reauthorization of that historic Transportation Equity Act (now, SAFETEA-LU).

However, the Obama Administration with the support of California Senator, Barbara Boxer, has delayed this critical legislation another 18 months over Chairman Oberstar's objections. This Act would vastly improve the inspection, maintenance and overall condition of the failing infrastructure in this country. Now that it has hit closer to home, perhaps Senator Boxer, who chairs the Public Works Committee in the Senate, will acknowledge the gravity and urgency of the situation, and reconsider her position.

Given current federal regulations, inspections miss over 90% of cracks and of the "cracks" they do identify, over 80% prove later to be false positives, according to the Federal Highway Administration. MATECH's EFS Technology is a critical tool needed to detect growing cracks accurately and verifying the efficacy of their repairs. This groundbreaking technology is the key to not only avoid wasting critical repair funds, but also to avoid a potential humanitarian disaster as well.

Robert Bernstein, CEO of MATECH, stated: "The residents of the Greater San Francisco area are lucky that the Bay Bridge underwent construction this weekend, or else the crack which forced the closure may have gone unnoticed. While the Obama Administration and Senator Boxer may be comfortable with leaving the public safety to chance, I doubt if Californians feel the same way after this weekend."

About MATECH

MATECH Corp., formerly Material Technologies, Inc., was founded in 1983 and is based in Los Angeles. It is an engineering, research and development company that specializes in technologies to measure microscopic fractures in metal structures and to monitor metal fatigue. The Company has already completed significant work for the federal government -- generating $8.3 million to develop technology to detect metal fatigue in aircraft. It has also received $5 million in private investments. Building on that base, it is now marketing its technologies to companies and government agencies involved in the inspection of metal highway and railroad bridges. To learn more, go to www.matechcorp.com

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