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FIU Bridge Collapse: A Fatal Mistake

Jeffrey R. Davis

On March 15th, 2018, South Florida witnessed a terrible tragedy. The bridge connecting Florida International University’s campus to their off-campus housing spanning seven traffic lanes suddenly collapsed. 950 tons of solid concrete slammed down at an incredible speed injuring dozens and killing six. The bridge was fairly new, as the pedestrian portion had just been completed five days prior to the accident.

The bridge was designed and constructed by two of America’s top engineering companies, Munilla Construction Management and FIGG Bridge Group. They were to build this bridge through a modern approach, the Accelerated Bridge Construction method (also known as the “ABC method”). This plan would cut their time spent constructing this megastructure in half – only having to shut major roads down for a few hours, beneficing the University and several local politicians.

So far, our knowledge as to what caused the collapse is very limited as the National Transportation Safety Board will not publicate it’s findings until the official report is ready. What we do know is mainly put together by engineer analyses from dashcam footage and the political benefits and costs of building this bridge as fast as possible.

What we know:

  • The construction crew had just finished adjusting tension rods at the south end of the bridge.
  • Two days before the collapse, a lead engineer from FIGG Bridge Group called the Florida Department of Transportation to notify them of some cracks that had formed, claiming that they “did not pose a safety hazard.”
  • The “critical positioning” of lift trucks was shifted from their original positions during the lifting of the bridge, leaving large areas unsupported.

In the coming months, we will find out the true causes of the bridge collapse. This terrible tragedy has affected the families of those injured and killed, as well as all of South Florida. If you or a loved one have been victims of the FIU Bridge Collapse or any other construction disaster, make sure you have the right attorneys by your side. The team at Jeff Davis Law is prepared to handle your case and fight for justice.

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