FIU Bridge Collapse Update: Court Documents Claim Engineer Dismissed Safety Concerns Hours Before Collapse


As the United States just recently suffered another tragic and deadly construction incident involving civilians after a crane collapsed in Seattle over the weekend, we’re reminded that the bridge collapse on FIU’s campus in Miami, Florida in early 2018 still has many unanswered questions.

According to NBC 6 Miami, court hearings about the FIU bridge collapse are finally starting to release some information to the public.  In a recent hearing, lawyers referenced meeting minutes that claimed the representatives from the engineers for the bridge, FIGG Bridge Engineers, said that there were no safety concerns even with the visible cracking of concrete on site just 5 hours before the bridge span fell to the open street below.

The NBC report says that FIGG engineers were on-site the morning of the collapse at 8am to examine the cracks that had formed.  Around 9am, they lead a meeting with the general contractor, the Florida Department of Transportation, and an engineering firm representing FIU.  In that meeting, it was reported that FIGG gave a presentation that said there was no safety concern and that reinforcing the bridge during repair efforts “was not necessary.”

These allegations derived from the meeting minutes of the engineers hired to represent FIU, Bolton Perez & Associates, according to the report.  FIGG later denied the accuracy of the minutes and submitted their own “corrected minutes” to the National Safety Board (NTSB) 6 weeks after the collapse.

Neither of the meeting minutes discussed in the court hearings have been made public.  The NTSB’s investigation is still ongoing, as well.

It’s a good lesson for everyone in the industry that accurate meeting minutes are extremely important pieces of documentation, but perhaps what could have made them even stronger evidence was a time stamp and revision history of minutes loaded to a web-based project management software.

Full story: Engineers Dismissed Crack Concerns on Morning of FIU Bridge Collapse | NBC 6 Miami