The FIU Bridge Collapse was tragic and could have been prevented. Who is responsible for this tragedy?
Author: Attorney Jason Macri
Tragically, a pedestrian bridge designed to make life safer for thousands of FIU students was the cause of six deaths and several injuries on Thursday. The immediate question is what happened? How is it possible for a bridge to just collapse out of nowhere especially when considering that the bridge was just installed several days earlier. The answer to these questions will not be easily obtained but eventually, experts will know exactly why the bridge failed.
This bridge was initially heralded as an architectural marvel. It was constructed offsite and then brought to the scene and installed. The installation took approximately six hours. This bridge was built using accelerated bridge design which is a relatively expensive but quicker method of bridge construction. This type of construction is preferred because it minimizes traffic disturbances by allowing workers to bring in slabs of bridge and set them in place. Traffic is then resumed while workers continue to work on the bridge.
It would appear that accelerated bridge construction played a fairly large role in this tragedy because traffic was allowed to pass under the bridge while it was still being worked on. Some of the deaths were of people who were under the bridge in vehicles when it collapsed. Had traffic not been allowed to travel underneath the bridge until it was completed, lives would’ve been saved.
Apparently, those involved with the bridge construction noticed cracks in the concrete used to construct the bridge but apparently felt that the cracks did not present a safety issue for the public. Instead, they simply notified FDOT of the cracks but continued to allow traffic to pass underneath and around the bridge. If after the cracks were noticed, traffic under the bridge was halted, lives would’ve been saved.
Many questions remain as to why this tragedy occurred but something is for sure; experts, in conjunction with attorneys, will get to the bottom of it. Every witness with knowledge of the incident will be interviewed. Evidence will be collected and analyzed. All the information will be processed and conclusions will be made. There were many organizations and companies involved in the bridge construction but ultimately, at least one of them will be held liable.
Lives have been lost and families of the deceased will continue to live on without their loved one. For many of the family members, Florida law has indicated that they deserve compensation for their loss. The law is complex however and there are many caveats. A skilled wrongful death attorney will know exactly who can be compensated under the law. If you or a loved one suffered a loss in the Miami Bridge Collapse please call us. Our attorneys will explain your rights according to Florida law and make sure you receive every form of compensation you deserve.