Miami bridge fall blamed on design, lack of oversight
More at the link.A Miami university bridge that collapsed and killed six people last year showed significant design errors and should have been more carefully monitored by the state government because of the project's complexity, federal officials said Tuesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board members concluded that the design firm FIGG Bridge Engineers, Inc. underestimated the load of the bridge and overestimated its strength in a critical section that splintered, dropping a 174-foot-long (53-meter-long) span onto eight cars on March 15, 2018.
NTSB's chairman Robert Sumwalt said the cracking observed days before the collapse should have prompted contractors and the Florida International University to close the road but did not, leading to a "catastrophic loss of life."
The engineers investigating the collapse told the board members the cracks were 40 times larger than what is commonly accepted. Dan Walsh said they were "alarming warning signs," and that it was as if "the bridge was talking" to the contractors.
"It wasn't just talking, it was screaming at them," Sumwalt said. "Yet no one was listening."
Sumwalt also said he had never seen so much finger-pointing among parties involved in a transportation project. FIGG maintained on Tuesday that the bridge would not have collapsed if a critical section had been built according to state standards. But the NTSB findings said the bridge could still have failed because of design miscalculations.