Cause of FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse, Based On NTSB Investigation
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At the request of one of our readers regarding our 2018 posts, New Pedestrian Bridge at FIU Collapsed This Afternoon, I searched and am posting several videos and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)’s recent news release, Load, Capacity Calculaton Errors, Inadequate Peer Review Led to Pedestrian Bridge Collapse, in italics, below:
Cracks in complicated engineer’s design the “probable cause” of FIU bridge collapse, National Transportation Safety Board states at hearing in Washington, D.C., in the video “NTSB: Known cracks primarily to blame for FIU bridge collapse“, below:
WASHINGTON (Oct. 22, 2019) — The National Transportation Safety Board determined, during a public board meeting held Tuesday, that load and capacity calculation errors made by FIGG Bridge Engineers, Inc., are the probable cause of the fatal, March 15, 2018, Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapse in Miami.
Contributing to the collapse was Louis Berger’s inadequate peer review, which failed to detect FIGG’s calculation errors in its design of the main span truss member 11/12 nodal region and connection to the bridge deck. The FIGG engineer of record’s failure to identify the significance of structural cracking observed in this node before the collapse, and failure to obtain an independent peer review of the remedial plan to address the cracking, further contributed to the collapse.
Six people died and 10 others were injured when the partially constructed FIU pedestrian bridge catastrophically failed, sending the 174-foot-long, 950-ton, bridge span onto SW 8th Street 18.5 feet below, crushing eight vehicles that were under the bridge. Six of the eight lanes of the roadway traveling under the bridge were open at the time of the collapse.
The failure of FIGG, MCM, Bolton Perez and Associates Consulting Engineers, FIU and the Florida Department of Transportation to cease bridge work and close SW 8th Street to protect public safety contributed to the severity of the collapse outcome, said the NTSB during the meeting.
“Errors in bridge design, inadequate peer review and poor engineering judgment led to the collapse of this bridge,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “The failure of all concerned parties, to recognize and take action on the threat to public safety presented by the significant observed bridge structure distress prior to the collapse, led to the tragic loss of life in this preventable accident.”
Through its investigation the NTSB made 30 findings including:
Based on its investigation of the bridge collapse, the NTSB issued 11 safety recommendations in total, with one issued to the Federal Highway Administration, five issued to the Florida Department of Transportation, three issued to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and two issued to FIGG Bridge Engineers, Inc.
An abstractof the NTSB’s report containing the probable cause, findings and recommendations from its investigation of the FIU pedestrian bridge collapse is available online at https://go.usa.gov/xp3uB. The full final report will publish in the next few weeks.
Contact: NTSB Media Relations
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