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OSHA Places Considerable Blame on FIGG Bridge Engineers for Florida International University Bridge Collapse


June 17, 2019

According to an article at enr.com, while there are several parties who may have been involved in causing the Florida International University Bridge collapse, a new report issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) places significant blame upon FIGG Bridge Engineers (FIGG), the designers of the bridge.*

OSHA in a report notes that FIGG failed to assess the risks from cracks that kept getting wider to failing to obtain peer reviews, mandated by the state, regarding the bridges’ design. OSHA’s report details these failures as well as several others.  For example, FIGG “failed to recognize that the bridge was in danger of collapsing when it inspected it hours before the collapse,” writes the author of the report.  

The report further notes that there were “wide and deep structural cracks” all the bridge’s single concrete truss.  In essence, FIGG should have noticed these and immediately instructed that the bridge be closed for repairs.  Furthermore, the report provides that the bridge “had structural design deficiencies that contributed to the collapse during construction stage III. The cracks on the bridge occurred due to deficient structural design.”

OSHA is puzzled by the fact that there was a project team meeting that discussed the cracks on the bridge’s structure. This was held on the morning that the collapse occurred.  During this meeting, FIGG acknowledged the cracks yet noted that they did not present any concerns for safety.

FIGG has since disputed the findings in OSHA’s report as “factually inaccurate and incomplete” with “errors and flawed analyses.”

It was determined that other entities were also responsible for the bridge collapse. For example, the design-build contractors, MCM, deferred to the decision of FIG and did not pursue its independent professional judgement, as the constructor of the collapsed bridge, to close the roadway leading to the bridge so that it could determine the cause of the cracks. 

The National Transportation Safety Board is currently conducting an investigation of the bridge collapse and expects to release its findings in late 2019 or early 2020.

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Source:https://www.enr.com/articles/47044-osha-investigation-slams-figg-for-fiu-bridge-collapse and https://www.enr.com/articles/47044-osha-investigation-slams-figg-for-fiu-bridge-collapse

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