Equipment Type

Was Accelerated Bridge Construction Method at Fault?

Considerations forensic engineers will weigh

March 16, 2018
Determining what caused the FIU bridge to fail will probably take months.

Determining what caused the FIU bridge to fail will probably take months. The Miami Herald has posted an overview of conditions that may or may not have lead to the FIU bridge collapse.

What investigators will consider:

  • FIU's engineering g school is a hub for accelerated bridge construction (ABC) training but was not formally involved in the pedestrian bridge project. The bridge was a collaborative project between Munilla Construction Management (MCM) of Miami and FIGG Bridge Design in Tallahassee.
  • However, FIU administered the $12 million project and was charged with approving plans, permits and inspections for the bridge.
  • FIU was supposed to hire an independent state approved pre-qualified engineering firm to do design checks, but according to the Florida Department of Transportation, the firm hired, Louis Berger, was not FDOT approved.
  • Why stress testing was being conducted while traffic was passing underneath?
  • The bridge design used concrete trusses instead of lighter steel trusses; Ralph Verrastro, a Cornell-trained engineer and principal of Naples-based Bridging Solutions said, “This was a very long span and then they used very heavy material. The majority of pedestrian bridges are steel.” A steel bridge weighs about one-tenth of a concrete one."

Read the complete Miami Herald story Did Construction Technique Lead To FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse?.

Image: MiamiDadeFire/Twitter

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