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Governor Rick Scott Suspends Funding for FIU Pedestrian Bridge

March 19th, 2018 by Jake Stofan

In a split second, commutes on South West 8th street in Miami went from routine, to nightmarish… A pedestrian bridge designed by FIGG Bridge Engineers collapsing on to the busy road, taking the lives of six.

Governor Rick Scott directed the Florida Department of Transportation, Monday to suspend more than $13.6 million in federal funding for the bridge’s construction, until the cause of the collapse is determined.

As investigators continue into what caused the pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University, new details are emerging suggesting bridge engineers and the Florida Deportment of Transportation may have underestimated a problem in the days leading up to the collapse.

The Florida Department of Transportation was quick to distance itself from responsibility, writing in  a press release that the project was a local agency project not  FDOT’s. The agency then  released this voicemail left by the FIGG Lead Engineer Denney Pate. It was left two days before the collapse.

 

“I was calling to share with you some information about the FIU pedestrian bridge and some cracking that’s been observed…from a safety perspective we don’t see that there’s any issue there… obviously the cracking is not good,” said Pate.

An FDOT consultant attended a meeting with the project engineers the day of the collapse and participated in a discussion about the cracks, but FDOT says the engineers said there were no safety concerns and never asked for assistance from the department.

FDOT says the ultimate responsibility for the safety of the project falls on the engineering company. Because the company didn’t question the bridge’s safety FDOT says it had no reason to believe there was a problem.

Governor Rick Scott echoed FDOT’s defense.

 

“The individual said that there were no safety issues,” said Scott Monday.

FIGG maintains their assessment indicated the cracks didn’t compromise the bridge’s safety.

It’s yet to be determined if the cracking was the cause of the collapse.

FIGG says it’s continuing to work with authorities to determine exactly what went wrong.

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