6 Dead, 10 Injured After Engineering Problems Cause A Miami Bridge To Collapse
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

6 Dead, 10 Injured After Engineering Problems Cause A Miami Bridge To Collapse

A look into the FIU bridge collapse and the factors that may have caused it.

299
6 Dead, 10 Injured After Engineering Problems Cause A Miami Bridge To Collapse
Time Magazine (couldn't find a free applicable image!!)

On Thursday, March 15th, Florida International University's pedestrian bridge in Miami collapsed, leading to six fatalities and 10 injuries. Engineering and structural failures have been blamed for the fall of the $14.2 million, 950-ton "instant bridge." Set to open next year, the student walkway was built by two experienced Florida construction firms, Figg Bridge Design and MCM construction. Both companies have embarked on numerous projects throughout the United States.

"Instant bridge," also known as "accelerated bridge construction," was the method employed to build the FIU crossing. The purpose of this technique is to execute the majority of bridge construction off-site prior to installation. According to the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, the instant bridge method is "a paradigm shift in the project planning and procurement approach." Moreover, accelerated bridge construction is much faster than traditional methods, and it minimizes travel related risks on the road and decreases delays as well.

The FIU bridge collapse is currently being investigated. According to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a possible trigger mechanism for the fatal incident could have been a stress test that was performed on the span of the bridge. After examining the design of the walkway and inspecting the aftermath of its destruction Robert Bea, professor of engineering and construction management at the University of California - Berkeley, stated to the Associated Press that "innovations take a design firm into an area where they don't have applicable experience, and then we have another unexpected failure on our hands." As much as the FHA and construction agencies love to boast about the "instant bridge" technique, after reflecting upon the incident in Florida, it is evident that this method is far from infallible.

Former president of the American Society of Civil Engineers Andy Hermann highlighted the fact that multiple variables could have triggered the bridge collapse, and, at the moment, it is difficult to pinpoint the source of catastrophe. "It could be materials, it could be construction technique, it could be the engineering design itself. With the ABC type of construction, there are design loads that have to be taken into account for the actual moving of the bridge. ABC construction essentially builds a bridge off-site and then moves it into place for its final position. And when you do that you have different load points, different supports for the bridge that are different than the final supports. So you have to take account of that when you design the bridge," stated Hermann.

Apparently, both Figg and MCM have been involved in previous bridge failures. According to the Miami Herald, Figg was slapped with four violations in 2012 by the Virginia Department of Labor after a 90-ton chunk of concrete plummeted from a bridge that was under construction near Norfolk. The company was also fined a hefty $28,000 by the Department of Labor after unauthorized and improper modification of a girder – which caused the 2012 bridge collapse. MCM is also under fire, as a lawsuit that was filed earlier this month blames the company for hiring “incompetent, inexperienced, unskilled or careless employees." According to the Occupational Safety Health Administration, over the past five years, MCM has blown through 11 safety violations, and fines that exceed over $50,000 total.

Despite the accusations being pointed at both construction firms, Figg expressed that "in our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before," and MCM stated, "MCM is a family business, and we are all devastated and doing everything we can to assist. We will conduct a full investigation to determine exactly what went wrong and will cooperate with investigators on scene in every way.”

FIU school president Mark B. Rosenberg has recently stated that the school community is currently in the stage of “immense sadness, uncontrollable sadness.” Rosenberg further stated that “we're committed to assisting in all efforts necessary, and our hope is that this sadness can galvanize the entire community to stay the course, a course of goodness, of hope, of opportunity."

At the moment, the identities of the six dead bodies that were found in the rubble are being processed.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

70099
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

131884
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments