It is now obvious that the builders of the collapsed bridge will probably go to prison or at least will be sued to bankruptcy by the bridge collapse. They held a meeting just two hours before the collapse where the company assured everyone, the cracks were no problem. This was utterly insane and irresponsible. I did structural engineering most of my life and any cracks like the ones on the bridge would cause me to shut down everything and immediately put up supports.
FIU is the engineering center for research on this style of dangerous bridge construction. They were very proud of this bridge and boasted about their new technology so…the school is going to be sued along with everyone else involved in this stupid disaster. This company had previous bridge collapses.
Evidently, a woman is the figurehead and I am seriously worried that she got these contracts becausse she is a female and so everyone overlooked previous failures. This is a huge problem, I was the only structural female for a while in Northern New Jersey and it is a dangerous business because people can die if you are wrong!
Engineer of Florida Bridge Reported Cracks Days Before Collapse – The New York Times reports. The information is infuriating. ANY cracks in ANY bridge or dam requires immediate attention and one MUST assume it is potentially fatal even if it is ‘small cracks’.
I have rebuilt buildings damaged by California earthquakes, too. This means going inside walls to see if cracking is structural, for example. And always, when there is visual cracks, you shore it up before studying it because time is always the essence. It is dangerous to even enter a cracked beam situation!
The cracking was on the north end of the span but the company did not consider it a safety concern, according to a recording of the message released by the Transportation Department.
“We’ve taken a look at it and, uh, obviously some repairs or whatever will have to be done, but from a safety perspective we don’t see that there’s any issue there so we’re not concerned about it from that perspective,” said the engineer, W. Denney Pate. “Although obviously the cracking is not good and something’s going to have to be, you know, done to repair that.”
You don’t ‘repair’ cracks. You do extensive searches for the cause of the cracking! Way too often, stupid people put patches on structural cracks. Some cracks are perfectly safe but any in cement structures when it is weight bearing structures, even small cracks are highly dangerous. For example, the center beams in a Chinese 5 story store began to crack and shed paint and staff was told, it was no big deal and then the entire building collapsed, killing over 50 people.
In a statement, Figg Bridge Engineers, which designed the bridge, said that it was “heartbroken by the loss of life and injuries” and was “carefully examining the steps that our team has taken in the interest of our overarching concern for public safety.”
They showed zero concern when they saw the cracks. I want them arrested for murder.
“The evaluation was based on the best available information at that time and indicated that there were no safety issues,” the statement said. “It is important that the agencies responsible for investigating this devastating situation are given the appropriate time in order to accurately identify what factors led to the accident during construction.”
The part that was cracking was a load bearing part of the bridge! Any cracks, no matter how small, in any beams or structures carrying loads are serious! You don’t wait until it collapses. Duh!
Construction crews were tightening cables on the bridge when it fell, the N.T.S.B. said, which is not unusual after installation. Mr. Accetta said the safety board also would look at whether that process contributed to the collapse, adding that the “point of failure” was still unclear.
It is obvious to me. I have done the ‘tighten up’ process on buildings and you have to be very careful and constantly monitor all parts to see if ANY cracks show up. The minute that happens, YOU STOP. I am very pissed off reading about this disaster.
Two days after the voice mail message was left, and one day before it was heard, the Florida Department of Transportation said, one of its consultants took part in a meeting with the bridge’s design and construction team. At the meeting the state consultant “was not notified of any life-safety issues, need for additional road closures or requests for any other assistance from FDOT,” the department said.
The meeting took place at noon on Thursday. At around 1:30 p.m., the bridge collapsed.
“At no point during any of the communications above did Figg or any member of the F.I.U. design-build team ever communicate a life-safety issue,” the state Transportation Department said in its statement.
The Transportation Department and Florida will both be sued, anyways. They were told it was OK but anyone with a brain should have told the FIU idiots that the street was going to be closed, anyways, and proof has to be given that the bridge would be safe before reopening it.
The school issued a statement early Saturday saying that during a meeting hours before the collapse, a Figg engineer “delivered a technical presentation regarding the crack and concluded that there were no safety concerns and the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge.”
That engineer should go to prison. There was no way he had enough information to say that. Simply looking at it is not an ‘investigation’ at all. I am seriously angry about this level of depraved incompetence.
The meeting, which took place at a trailer on the construction site Thursday morning, was convened by the builder and by Figg “to discuss a crack that appeared on the structure,” and representatives of both F.I.U. and the Florida Department of Transportation attended, the school said in its statement.
The lawsuits are already won by the victims. FIU is going to be bankrupt. Hopefully, some people will go to prison. This was a new structural attempt and instead of doing it in a safe place to be TESTED they used novel materials and structural systems on the public! That is insane. It is cheap. Until the lawsuits fly and people die. Cheap is always expensive in the long run.