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Florida bridge collapse | Engineers await answers one year on

Florida bridge collapse

Engineers are still awaiting investigators’ conclusions about why the Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapsed on to a live eight-lane road on 15 March 2018, killing six people.

The US National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) has confirmed that it is finalising its report on the cause of the collapse and but will not release its findings until early autumn.

A NTSB spokesperson said that the “probable cause” and safety recommendations will be published in the weeks before the official report’s release.

The NTSB will also release evidence which it believes is relevant to its findings.

An interim NTSB report released in November 2018 claimed that errors had been made in the design of the northernmost nodal region of the span where two truss members were connected to the bridge deck.

Images of cracks that were found in the bridge two days before it was lifted into place were also released as part of the investigation.

Flordia crack

Cracks in FIU bridge, via NTSB report

Earlier this month, Munilla Construction management  (MCM), the contractor building the 53m long, 862t concrete truss structure, filed for bankruptcy under chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. 

MCM said it had struggled to win work following the fatal collapse.

The family owned business was fined by the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration last year for serious safety violations and for failing to protect its workers on the FIU bridge. In total five companies have been fined a total of $86,658 (£65,765) for seven violations on the project.

Fines were handed out to designer Figg Bridge Engineers, Munilla Construction Management, Bolton Perez & Associates, Structural Technologies and concrete contractor The Structural Group.

A Miami-Dade county circuit judge is currently overseeing 18 ongoing lawsuits filed against 25 businesses connected to the failed project.

So far no compensation has been paid to the families of the victims. 

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