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Modifications had Put Miami Bridge Behind Schedule

Florida Department of Transportation in October 2016 advised Florida International University and its contractors to move one of the bridge's main support structures

March 21, 2018
Florida Department of Transportation advised contractors to move one of the bridge's main support structures

The Associated Press reports the FIU pedestrian bridge that collapsed and killed six people was behind schedule and $2.6 million over budget, in part because of a key change in the design and placement of one of its support towers.

In October 2016, the Florida Department of Transportation in October 2016 advised Florida International University and its contractors to move one of the bridge's main support structures 11 feet north to the edge of a canal to make room for future widening of the highway below. Doing so meant widening the gaps between the crossing's end supports and requiring some new structural design and additional costs, according to documents obtained by AP.

The documents also said modification delays combined with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in-house budget cuts caused concern in FIU's financial offices who were worried the delays would jeopardize federal TIGER funds.

Read CBS News report, Florida Bridge Collapse: Design Change Put Project Behind Schedule, Millions Over Budget for more on how multiple pressures may have lead to the bridge's collapse.

Snopes Kills Bridge Rumor

Snopes.com takes on any and all urban legends to determine if they have any merit or proof.

This week, Snopes' fact checker Dan Evon took aim at the rumor that said the FIU bridge collapse was due to it being built by women. Here's what is Evon said:

Claim: Munilla Construction Management, the construction firm that built the bridge at Florida International University that collapsed in March 2018, is an all-female company.

Origin: After a devastating pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University on 15 March 2018, the National Transportation Safety Board opened an investigation in order to determine exactly what went wrong and who was ultimately responsible for the disaster.

Some corners of the Internet couldn’t wait for the results of this report, however, and claimed that the true culprit was painfully obvious: women.

An article published in the days following the bridge collapse reported that the Munilla Construction Management, one of the companies that worked on the FIU-Seawater Bridge, was a “female led construction company.” Another article claimed that the bridge was constructed by an “all-women engineering team,” while a video based off these two articles took this claim one step further and stated that this bridge was constructed by an “all-female company.”

Munilla Construction Management is not an “all-female” company and they did not use an “all-female” engineering team to construct the ill-fated FIU-Sweetwater Bridge. This claim is based off of social media posts celebrating International Women’s Day and a misreading of a news article. In other words, there is no basis for this claim.

Read Dan's full rebuke of the rumor in Snopes' Was an all-female construction company responsible for the collapse of a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University in Miami?

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