Engineer warned of cracks before fatal Florida bridge collapse

The investigation why the bridge collapsed is underway

In Miami, emergency crews continue to search for people trapped underneath the bridge near the campus of Florida International University (FIU).

There have been reports that a stress-test was being conducted on the bridge - over moving traffic - when the walkway collapsed.

Recovery workers expect to find more bodies as debris is removed, Miami-Dade police Director Juan Perez said Friday.

Rolando Fraga Hernandez and his gold Jeep Cherokee were pulled from the wreckage Saturday. "Brown's family and with the other affected employees", he said. The FIU freshman was studying political science. Authorities are investigating whether cracking that was reported just before the span fell contributed to the accident.

Brownfield declined to comment in a message to The Associated Press.

He said the same is true for other bridges that FIGG has been involved with, including four spans at the interchange of Route 2 and Interstate 84 in East Hartford.

Accelerated bridge construction, or ABC, involves assembling large sections of a span offsite, then moving the massive pieces into place all at once.

"Varo you really gone???" The company's website says it's known for being a pioneer in artful bridge design since 1978. Another of the mayor's sons, Julio Gimenez, also used to work for MCM as a construction executive, according to the newspaper.

To some bridge engineers, the decision to install the span's main concrete segment over a busy road before building its main support tower was puzzling.

Hours before a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University collapsed on Thursday, killing at least six people, engineers met the construction manager, state transportation officials and university representatives to discuss a crack on the structure.

The call from W. Denney Pate of FIGG Bridge Engineers went unanswered, and the voice mail he recorded unheard - until Friday. The National Transportation Safety Board, when questioned about the cracking on Friday night during a briefing on the campus, said they'd not yet verified the information or determined how or where the bridge had failed.

According to a FDOT statement, the voicemail was not heard by an agency employee until Friday, March 16, after he returned to his office from an assignment. It added, "The evaluation was based on the best available information at that time and indicated that there were no safety issues".

Those making the commute now have to cross over seven lanes of traffic when going to and from campus.

The bridge was scheduled to open to foot traffic in 2019, and was created to boost safety on busy 8th Street, where an 18-year-old FIU student was fatally struck by a vehicle in August.

Last weekend, FIU tweeted a photo of what the completed bridge would look like.

"When you're doing staged construction like this, what you have to make sure is that at each stage that the structure is strong enough for the loads that are on the bridge". He said the lack of the central pier and cables was "no red flag at all".

"I was trying to get people to realize my friend was still in there", he said. So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

"This was a colossal failure of the system", he said.

"I have no concerns", Swanwick said.

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