Cracks were found in bridge days before collapse — FL agency

Mar 18, 2018, 02:45
Cracks were found in bridge days before collapse — FL agency

Engineers working on the bridge that fell on to a Florida highway Thursday had attempted to warn state officials about cracks on the walkway just two days before the deadly collapse, according to a voicemail transcript released Friday night by the Florida Department of Transportation.

In a letter, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to turn over all records related to the engineering, design, construction, safety and inspection of the project, which spanned a major road next to the campus of Florida International University (FIU).

Department employees said on Friday they did not hear the message until after the bridge fell.

In the message, Pate said he was calling to share "some information about the FIU pedestrian bridge and some cracking that's been observed on the north end of the span".

He continued, saying that the bridge has been looked at and "obviously some repairs or whatever will have to be done, but from a safety perspective we don't see that there's any issue".

"Obviously the cracking is not good, and something's going to have to be, you know, done to fix that", he said.

The bridge was put in place March 10, five days before the collapse. Reports indicate that there are six fatalities as a result of the collapse.

It is unknown if the cracks found were connected to the collapse.

Once Humble realized he was alive, he also realized that he could not get to Duran.

Humble is in stable condition with neck and leg injuries, the Herald reported.

Robert Accetta, the investigator-in-charge for the NTSB, said crews were applying post-tensioning force, but investigators aren't sure if that's what caused the bridge to fall.

Witnesses told local media that the vehicles had stopped at a traffic light when the bridge collapsed on top of them around 1.30pm ET (1730 GMT). "I want someone to step up and say, 'The buck stops with me'".

The Miami-Dade Police Department confirmed the names of four victims Saturday. Jorge's 60-year-old uncle, Rolando Fraga, lives in the area and frequently takes the nearby turnpike to work, but no one has heard from him since midday Thursday. "The waiting is so".

"This was created to support itself - that was the beauty of the design, I'm sure", he said. "They saw the auto - his Cherokee". He got missed 12 o'clock on.

The bridge, which was due for completion in 2019, was engineered to allow students to cross the busy road without holding up traffic.

"Tonight will be the longest night of my life", she wrote 11 hours after the collapse.

Police detective Juan Carlos Llera said when the bridge came down, it "sounded like an explosion".

FIU on Friday evening said that they are providing free mental health and counseling services to students, faculty, staff and any members of the community who were affected by the incident. "That's still too early in the investigation for us to confirm". It's obviously an accident either way.

One witness posted dashcam footage of the disaster on Instagram.

Video footage showed the concrete structure suddenly crashing onto the road below.

People can be seen standing on the bridge as it crumbles and hits the ground.

That leaves at least two people who authorities believe are still in the rubble, but Kemp cautioned Saturday that the final death toll won't be known until all the vehicles are removed.

The department stressed that "the responsibility to identify and address life-safety issues and properly communicate them is the sole responsibility of the FIU design-build team", adding that "FIGG and the FIU design build team never alerted FDOT of any life-safety issue regarding the FIU pedestrian bridge prior to collapse". The impetus for the project came after a vehicle hit and killed an FIU student a year ago.

The company that designed the bridge in Florida, Figg Bridge Group, also designed the I-90 bridge that connects La Crosse and Winona County, Minnesota.

Richie Humble, who studies at Florida International University, was riding in a auto under the pedestrian bridge when he heard a long creaking noise coming from the structure that spanned a busy Miami-area highway.

The cables supporting the span were being tightened following a "stress test" when it collapsed, authorities said.

At least six were killed and several vehicles were trapped under the debris on the #highway following the collapse. After that tragedy, FIGG was selected to design the replacement bridge that's now in use.