Survivor of FIU bridge collapse sues design-construction firms

20 March, 2018, 04:36 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Six crosses are being held up by rubble from the pedestrian bridge that collapsed at Florida International University as a memorial to the victims

Six people, including a student, a construction worker, and a father of three, died in the bridge collapse. But he said more testing needs to be done by the NTSB. As investigators try to puzzle together what caused the bridge to crumble, survivors and the families of the dead are left grappling with the sudden and explicable loss.

On March 12, the company tweeted a photo of the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University, and captioned it, "We are thrilled to have performed structural monitoring during a spectacular bridge move by [Barnhart Crane] at [Florida International University, Miami]". The few students on campus when the collapse occurred last week wondered how many more people could have been killed if the school, which has about 55,000 students split between several campuses, been in session.

The bridge was built using Accelerated Bridge Construction, a quick but expensive method of construction method that has grown in popularity in recent years.

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The pedestrian bridge was built as part of a $19.4 million project grant and was elevated in one piece March 10 by MCM Construction and FIGG Engineering.

The complaint goes on to allege that the stress testing conducted on Thursday afternoon caused the collapse, and that the dangers of performing such a test on a cracked bridge without a traffic mitigation plan or placing supports under the bridge were well known by the firms involved.

The Florida Highway Patrol said that for now, the street will remain closed, but a meeting was scheduled for Monday to discuss when it might reopen.

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"The FIGG engineer of record delivered a technical presentation regarding the crack and concluded that there were no safety concerns and the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge". So, uh, at any rate, call me back when you can. "When the employee returned to his office today, Friday, March 16, he was able to listen to the voicemail". Life at FIU, university officials told the community Sunday night, will be far from normal. At no point during any of the communications above did FIGG or any member of the FIU design build team ever communicate a life-safety issue. Because the company didn't question the bridge's safety, FDOT says it had no reason to believe there was a problem.

Representatives from FIGG, MCM and BPA could not be immediately reached for comment Monday morning, but the companies have said they would cooperate fully in local and federal investigations into the incident. "As FDOT assists in these investigations, we will continue our internal review and release all pertinent information as quickly as possible while ensuring its accuracy".

Warmer weather and rain chances for the weekend
It will still be breezy with the east winds changing to the northwest behind the system, gusting up to 30 miles per hour. Sunday into Monday will see at least two main waves of rain as our next system moves through the area.

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