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FIU Bridge Victim Brings New Suit

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

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It has been two weeks since the collapse of a pedestrian bridge on the Florida International University campus, and another lawsuit has been filed—this time against seven companies involved with the design and construction of the bridge.

On Monday (April 2) Richard Humble, a 19-year-old FIU student, announced the lawsuit, which will focus on alleged negligence and the fact that companies did not shut down 8th Street as they tightened steel rods on the cracked end of the span.

Humble Incident

According to CBS Miami, Humble was a passenger in a car with his best friend, 18-year-old Alexa Duran, a fellow student. She was driving him home from a medical appointment when the bridge collapsed.

“I looked back at Alexa a couple of times and she wasn’t saying anything, and I had her blood on me. I really didn’t know what to do. She just wasn’t moving,” Humble said.

National Transportation Safety Board, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

It has been two weeks since the collapse of the pedestrian bridge on the Florida International University campus, and another lawsuit has been filed—this time against seven companies involved with the design and construction of the bridge.

Humble’s lawyer, Stuart Grossman, noted that, after a mandatory waiting period, FIU and the Florida Department of Transportation would be added to the defendants roster.

Grossman also questioned why MCM Construction was given the contract to oversee the construction of the bridge, alleging that the company had no experience with that kind of bridge work. The company responded with a statement, saying, “MCM and its design-build team have extensive experience building post tension bridges and MCM is pre-qualified by the FDOT for major post tension bridge construction.”

Duran’s family has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against MCM, FIGG Engineering and seven other subcontractors associated with the project.

Bridge Collapse

On March 14, the pedestrian bridge—which had just been set in place on March 10—collapsed across eight lanes of the busy road below, flattening several vehicles.

The 950-ton, 174-foot-long span was assembled alongside the road while support columns were erected in place. On March 10, the span was lifted off the ground with a mechanical transporter, swung into position, then lowered onto the support columns. Sliding it into place took six hours, noted the Miami Herald, and the process—known as Accelerated Bridge Construction—was touted by FIU as an innovative “instant” bridge technique.

According to CNN, shortly after the span was installed, W. Denney Pate, an engineer with bridge firm FIGG, which was part of the design-construction team, noticed there was an issue—a crack had formed along the north side of the bridge, and repairs were needed.

The first civil lawsuit stemming from the incident has also been filed; Marquise Rashaad Hepburn was “seriously injured” as he rode his bicycle underneath the pedestrian bridge that was being built for Florida International University. The U.S. Department of Transportation has also officially started investigating the collapse of the pedestrian bridge.

   

Tagged categories: Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC); Bridges; Infrastructure; Laws and litigation; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

Comment from Thomas Van Hooser, (4/4/2018, 12:22 PM)

From what is known now and my past experiencce it would appear the incident was flawed in both Engineering and Construction. Totally preventable. Note: OSHA need to implement comprehensive Post Stress Tensioning operations - existing rules, where they exist, are not adequate.


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