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Bridge Collapse Leads to New Federal Recommendations for Road Closures

December 11, 2019

MIAMI, FL-  The fatal bridge collapse that occurred last year near the Florida International University is prompting changes to the federal recommendations for bridge construction, according to HERALDMAILMEDIA.COM. The deadly collapse led to six fatalities and injured ten others. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a final report concluding that many errors were made when calculating the load and capacity limits. The company that also performed the peer-review failed to catch the mistakes.*

The 950-ton pedestrian walkway exhibited cracks during construction which was indicative that the bridge could cave-in if enough weight and pressure were applied to it. Instead of halting construction and responding in alarm, engineers ordered construction crews to continue working on the bridge despite clearly apparent structural failures. The construction workers were told to tighten the structure's steel support rods in an effort to close the forming cracks. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) was not asked to shut down the roads underneath the bridge and it did not independently shut down the roads before the bridge collapsed. The structure then suddenly collapsed, falling onto the cars below, causing six tragic deaths and ten others to be injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) now says that FDOT should modify its manuals and require "qualified independent peer review” of specific bridge structures to include reviews of design calculations. The recommendations also include the FDOT requiring local agencies to report cracks in structures and immediately close roads when these issues emerge in the future. Most of the results of the investigation are available to the public. The NTSB hopes the results are used to prevent future tragedies. 

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Category: Personal Injury

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