NTSB Reports: Oversight Could Have Prevented Florida International University Pedestrian Bridge Collapse
MIAMI, FL – Better oversight could have prevented the collapse of a pedestrian bridge that happened in March of 2018 near Florida International University (FIU) that tragically killed six people and injured ten, according to an online news report at WSVN.com*
Federal officials note that the bridge was full of basic design flaws which should have been caught before construction ever began. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) also called out the firms that were involved in the project as well as FIU for not acting once extensive cracking appeared on the bridge during its construction.
The NTSB indicates that construction should have stopped and the road located underneath the bridge should have been closed during its construction before the concrete span hit eight vehicles.
The bridge was specifically designed to appear like a cable-stayed bridge, but it was only supported by trusses and made of concrete as opposed to steel, with steel being more common in such structures.
The NTSB’s final report places blame on the design firm as well as the company that was hired to independently review the design firm’s work. They are faulted for underestimating a load on a primary section of the bridge. In response to the accident, the NTSB’s vice chairman, Bruce Landsberg, noted that “[t]he bridge was not properly designed, and there was no qualified oversight on that design. When the inevitable began to happen – a creeping, catastrophic material failure — nobody did anything.”
The cracking on the bridge was obvious and occurred three weeks prior to the bridge collapse. The cracks increased in size and progressively worsened, and also appeared in other locations on the bridge. Right before the collapse, the cracks were reported as being 40 times larger than is commonly accepted.
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