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Florida foot bridge collapse leaves 6 to 10 people dead: senator

Florida foot bridge collapse leaves 6 to 10 people dead: senator

Postby smix » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:33 am

Florida foot bridge collapse leaves 6 to 10 people dead: senator
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-flor ... SKCN1GR2SZ
Category: Construction
Published: March 15, 2018

Description: MIAMI (Reuters) - A newly erected pedestrian bridge spanning several lanes of traffic collapsed at Florida International University on Thursday, killing six to 10 people, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida told TV station CBS Miami.

FIU-bridge.jpg

Emergency personnel with sniffer dogs searched for signs of life amid the wreckage of concrete slabs and twisted metal after the bridge crushed vehicles on one of the busiest roads in South Florida. At least eight vehicles were trapped in the wreckage of the 950-ton bridge and at least 10 people have been transported to hospitals, officials and doctors told news conferences. Witnesses told local media the vehicles were stopped at a traffic light when the bridge collapsed on top of them at around 1:30 p.m. ET (1730 GMT). “We’re working our way into the pile trying to create holes that we can actually physically see,” Miami-Dade Fire Department Division Chief Paul Estopian told reporters. The Florida Highway Patrol has said several people were killed but did not release a figure on fatalities. At one point, police requested television helicopters leave the area so rescuers could hear for any sounds of people crying for help from beneath the collapsed structure, CBS Miami television said. Complicating the rescue effort was the uncertainty about the integrity of the bridge, parts of which remained off the ground, much of it inclined, local media reported. The 174-feet (53-meter) long bridge connects the university with the city of Sweetwater and was installed on Saturday in six hours over the eight-lane highway, according to a report posted on the university’s website. The bridge was intended to provide a walkway over the busy street where an 18-year-old female FIU student from San Diego was killed while trying to cross last August, according to local media reports. Students at FIU are currently on their spring break vacation, which runs from March 12 to March 17.
‘A MIRACLE’
Student Aura Martinez was having lunch in a nearby restaurant with her mother when a waitress told her the bridge had collapsed. She ran outside and helped pull a woman out of her car, most of which was flattened by the bridge. “Her car, it was literally a miracle of God, her car got squished by the bridge from the back, so she was able to get out and she was on the floor and it was just very traumatic,” she told the local CBS affiliate. To keep the inevitable disruption of traffic associated with bridge construction to a minimum, the 174-foot portion of the bridge was built adjacent to Southwest 8th Street using a method called Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC). It was driven into its perpendicular position across the road by a rig in only six hours on Saturday, according to a statement released by the university. The $14.2 million bridge was designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, the most dangerous measure by the National Hurricane Center, and built to last 100 years, the university said. The National Transportation Safety Board was sending a team to investigate why it collapsed. President Donald Trump thanked first responders for their courage on Twitter. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and Florida Governor Rick Scott were at the scene of the collapse. Munilla Construction Management, which installed the bridge was founded in 1983 and owned by five brothers, according to its website. In addition to its Florida operations, the company also has divisions in Texas and Panama and employs 500 people.



Factbox: How the collapsed Florida bridge was erected in six hours
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-flor ... SKCN1GR3AM
Category: Construction
Published: March 15, 2018

Description: (Reuters) - A new pedestrian walkway that collapsed onto traffic at Florida International University on Thursday, killing several people, was erected in only six hours using a technique called “Accelerated Bridge Construction,” according to the school. Here are a few facts about the project and Accelerated Bridge Construction:

fiu-bridge-model.jpg

* The bridge was designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, the most dangerous measure by the National Hurricane Center, and last 100 years, according to the university.
* To keep the disruption of traffic to a minimum, a 174-foot (53-meter) portion of the bridge was built adjacent to the street and was driven into its perpendicular position across the road by a rig in only six hours on Saturday, according to the university.
* Accelerated Bridge Construction, or ABC, is a technique in which bridges can be replaced in 48 to 72 hours, reducing planning and work time by years and cutting traffic delays.
* Accelerated Bridge Construction uses different methods, designs and materials that are intended to produce safer, more durable bridges with longer service lives than conventional bridges, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration.
* The three leading ABC technologies being promoted under the Federal Highway Administration’s “Every Day Counts” initiative include Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems, Slide-In Bridge Construction, and Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil – Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS).
* Funding for the $14.2 million bridge is part of a $19.4 million U.S. Transportation Department grant through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, according to the university.
* The bridge was the first in the world to be constructed entirely of self-cleaning concrete, according to the university. Titanium dioxide used in its construction, when exposed to sunlight, captures air pollutants and keeps the surface white.



Florida school aware of bridge crack before collapse that killed six
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-flor ... SKCN1GT0KG
Category: Construction
Published: March 17, 2018

Description: MIAMI (Reuters) - Engineers and state and university officials met hours before a new pedestrian bridge collapsed in southern Florida, killing six people, but concluded a crack in the structure was not a safety concern, Florida International University said on Saturday. The meeting on Thursday involved FIGG, which is the private contractor for the overall bridge design, the school, Florida Department of Transportation officials and Munilla Construction Management, which installed the $14.2 million bridge. A FIGG engineer “concluded there were no safety concerns and the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge,” the university said in a statement. About three hours after the meeting ended, the 950-ton bridge collapsed, crushing vehicles stopped at a traffic light on the eight-lane roadway below.

pedestrian-bridge-collapsed.jpg

Six people died, including five whose bodies were recovered on Saturday as workers pulled out vehicles from the rubble, officials said. Police had feared the death toll could rise above six. But authorities found what they believe to be the last body on Saturday, Miami-Dade Police Department director Juan Perez told a news conference. “We’re going to go once again and make sure that there’s nobody else down there, but we’re pretty confident that no one’s left,” he said. Three of the victims found on Saturday were identified by police as Rolando Fraga Hernandez, Oswald Gonzalez and Alberto Arias. The names of two others whose bodies were removed from the rubble on Saturday were not immediately released. Another victim, who died in a hospital after the collapse, was identified by police as Navarro Brown. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the reasons for the bridge’s collapse. News of the meeting between engineers and officials followed a revelation late on Friday that the engineer overseeing the bridge, which linked the university campus with the city of Sweetwater, had called a state official two days before the collapse to report cracks. However, the voicemail message from FIGG’s lead engineer Denney Pate, including his assertion the cracking posed no safety issue, was not retrieved until Friday, a day after the tragedy, according to the state transportation agency. Pate did not immediately respond to email queries.
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