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.
— Monique O. Madan (@MoniqueOMadan) March 15, 2018
THE FIU BRIDGE COLLAPSED OH MY GOD pic.twitter.com/JO7jfx5AoN
— Gabriela Collazo (@GabrielaRose12) March 15, 2018