Miami – FIU pedestrian bridge collapses, people trapped underneath

Miami Herald

A pedestrian bridge under construction collapsed Thursday less than a week after crews dropped the elevated span in place over the Tamiami Trail in an effort to provide students a safe route across the busy roadway.

The bridge, which was not open, collapsed atop an unknown number of people and cars underneath. Police quickly closed the road. It is not known how many people may have been injured in the collapse, which was clearly a major failure of a on-going project not expected to be completed until early 2019.

South Florida’s WSVN reported that television news helicopters were ordered to back off so rescuers could listen for sounds from survivors.

There was no immediate explanation for what might have triggered the collapse, which occurred shortly before 2 p.m.

Touted as an “instant bridge,” the 950-ton pedestrian walkway was installed in a single morning at Southwest 109th Avenue on Saturday, intended eventually to link Florida International University’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus directly to the small suburban city of Sweetwater, where the university estimates 4,000 of its students live.

Before Saturday’s installation, FIU said the method of overall installation would significantly reduce the risk to workers, walkers, drivers and minimized traffic disruptions for construction.

16 thoughts on “Miami – FIU pedestrian bridge collapses, people trapped underneath

    1. Ha! Most likely. Got me wondering… Henry, would you know how the uS is on steel? I mean do we have a good supply of our own?


      1. Trump just put tariffs on foreign steel (except for Canada and Mexico), maybe too late.
        No, our steel industry is probably still making good steel, but whoever contracted for the bridge made a huge profit, cheapest materials, cheapest labor, sorry ass finished product, huge insurance policy, business as usual.

  1. looking at the model of it from 2016, I don’t see the suspension cables in the damage photos, guessing they omitted those in the final design.

    and read it was $14 million :

    The 950-ton span only went up on Saturday, CBS Miami reports. The 174ft (53m) cable-supported footbridge. Costing $14.2m (£12.5m), it was funded by the US Department of Transportation.

    1. The cables are internal to the concrete structure
      It’s an engineering design called pre/ and or Post tensioning

      Look really close to where the structure opened up
      You’ll see them

      1. Also the “in tension spire”was not yet in place and tied to the span yet
        So the entire load of the span was relying on its strength lengthwise, and the piers each end sat on

        My experience these days as a contractor
        None of these “yellow pages engineers” have a fkn clue about what was learned in our early 19th century
        Or these new kids on the block don’t pay attention to historical significance of real world physics, maybe this structure used common core math

        1. Well there you go. I looked at the photo at the link you posted above, and that missing spire & cables would be supporting much of the weight.

          It was stupid to allow traffic to pass beneath it until it was completed.

          It was also stupid to not have a temporary support in the middle of the thing until the spire was up.

  2. “There was no immediate explanation for what might have triggered the collapse…”

    Made in America?

  3. okay….. all the evidence is in (thanks, Enemy)

    The bridge was built by idiots, and that’s why it collapsed.

    I guess the “engineers” were here from India on an H1B work visa, and you get what you pay for.

    1. And there’s a lot more to be learned about that bridge from Enemy of the State’s comments than was revealed in the Miami Herald article.

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