Mass Casualty Event – Pedestrian Bridge Collapses at Miami Florida International University…

Rescue efforts are ongoing in Miami as a newly constructed pedestrian bridge has collapsed near the campus of Florida International University (FIU).  The bridge was designed as a suspension bridge and the span that collapsed over the street was put into place on Saturday morning.  [More on Design Below]  There are numerous casualties and fatalities.

MIAMI – […] The bridge gave way suddenly while the traffic light for motorists on Tamiami Trail was red, so that the concrete span fell on top of a row of stopped vehicles.

[…] The bridge crashed across six lanes of heavily traveled Tamiami Trail, crushing a still undetermined number of cars and killing a still unclear number of people. Police on the scene said at least six people could be dead.The Florida Highway Patrol reported five or six cars were trapped under the bridge. Miami-Dade County police said at least eight cars had been crushed under the walkway, which was not yet open to student traffic.

At least eight people had been transported to the trauma center at Kendall Regional Medical Center, according to a source close to the hospital. The condition of the patients is not yet known.

[…] Miami-Dade County Police Chief Juan Perez said he believed there were multiple people trapped. He wouldn’t venture to guess at the number because first responders were having trouble getting to the vehicles. South Florida’s WSVN reported that television news helicopters were ordered to back off so rescuers could listen for sounds from survivors.

The collapse was clearly a major failure of a project not expected to be completed until early 2019. There was no immediate explanation for what might have triggered the collapse, which occurred shortly before 2 p.m.

[…] Designed as a cable-supported bridge, the $14.2 million bridge project was a collaboration between MCM Construction, a prominent Miami-based contractor, and Figg Bridge Design, based in Tallahassee. Figg is responsible for the iconic Skyway bridge across Tampa Bay.

Figg issued a statement Thursday saying the company was “stunned” by the collapse and promising to cooperate with every authority investigating the collapse.

“In our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before,” the company’s statement said. “Our entire team mourns the loss of life and injuries associated with this devastating tragedy, and our prayers go out to all involved.” (read more with videos)

Here’s the link to the Bridge Contractor “FIGG Bridge Group” – HERE

Here’s the link to the FIU winning contract announcement – HERE

Here’s the CAD Engineering, design animation of finished bridge:

This is a suspension bridge design. Initial reporting, supported by photographs of the scene, indicate the suspension anchors were undergoing a stress test via crane at the time of the collapse. One of the anchors visible in the photograph fractured and failed. The resulting immediate drop of tension pressure created a platform inflection (shock wave) that collapsed the upper section onto the lower section. See picture:

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513 Responses to Mass Casualty Event – Pedestrian Bridge Collapses at Miami Florida International University…

  1. Chinese steel and Mexican concrete?

    Liked by 5 people

    • All Too Much says:

      Chinese cable.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Stosh says:

      Obama’s shovel ready jobs program.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The Jimmy Jackz says:

      And possibly minority owned business given preference in contracting bids – read affirmative action in hiring. Likely in education as well.

      There should be no affirmative action assistance for engineering school or for bid preference in construction projects.

      I’m not sure about the high tech – any chance of failure due to hacking or back does?

      Given FL requires construction to withstand cat 4 hurricanes I’m willing to bet $ there were kickbacks and bribes aplenty on this job.

      Liked by 4 people

      • WSB says:

        The cost of this was utterly ridiculous. IMHO.


        • WSB says:

          So, the initial project was to be at $9.3M. It grew to $14M. $11.4M was granted. What type of insurance policy was held on this?

          From SD’s link about the contract award…

          “The MCM-FIGG partnership will finalize the design of the $9.3 million pedestrian bridge and other streetscape elements that will link the city of Sweetwater with the northern entrance of FIU over Southwest 8th Street. FIU, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration approved the selection of MCM. The City of Sweetwater and Miami-Dade Transit participated in the selection process. Groundbreaking will take place this spring; the project is expected to be completed by summer of 2018.

          An $11.4 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant (also known as the TIGER Grant) will fund UniversityCity Prosperity Project which includes the construction of the bridge as well as improvements to the entrances of MMC and to the 109thAvenue area in Sweetwater, across from MMC…

          This will be MCM’s first design-build project with FIGG Bridge Engineers, an award-winning Tallahassee-based firm. FIGG has designed bridges throughout the U.S., including the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay.”

          Who is MCM, and did our Government gove the for a design-build project based on a competitive 3 party bid for design-build teams?

          I did just a bit of work for GSA years ago, and this would be outside that oversight, but our Government normally requires three bids.

          Calling Mrs. McConnell…


          • WSB says:

            I hate to screech OMG…but…OMG.

            The FIGG website looks bogus. If you click on SD’s link their website home page describes ‘Bridges as Art’. Obviously…not as an engineering project?

            There is nothing to the website at all. Normally, an engineering firm of this sort has all types of info. Was this site just changed to protect the company?

            Liked by 1 person

            • whizzbang says:

              Hi WSB

              They definitely didn’t change the website apart from adding a press statement about the tragedy.

              Go to and type in their URL – you can get snapshots of their website all the way back to about 2000.

              I agree however that they are VERY light on content.

              PS: that URL I shared is very useful to see whether anyone is being sneaky 🙂


              Liked by 1 person

              • WSB says:

                Well…WIZZBANG! That IS a useful little site!

                I am not one to spend a lot of time searching for all of the neat little tricks on the internet, so thank you for the link!

                And yes…light to no content!


    • Patsy says:

      And Illegal labor?

      Liked by 1 person

    • If I ever have to step foot in MA again (cold cold day in hell), Beantown specifically, remind me never to drive over the Zakim brdige.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Beverly says:

    Speak of the devil — Breitbart just ran a story of a construction engineer whistleblower in California saying that illegal aliens have taken over EVERY ASPECT of the construction industry — and they can’t read the building plans, and they don’t have the skills, and they work by the piece instead of the hour, and they only get paid 1/8 what American workers used to get in the 1980s — what could POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

    We’ve seen this shoddy, ignorant, ghetto-trashy work ethic here in New York City: illegals who don’t know jack squat about electricity just wrapping black tape around a junction box and calling it fixed!!! and breaking through our ENTIRE BATHROOM CEILING and collapsing it into OUR BATHROOM when they were “renovating” upstairs!!!

    Folks, watch this video: America’s new buildings, in every jurisdiction that is swarmed with illegals, is now getting cheap, SHODDY, DANGEROUS Third World construction standards! and OUR citizens are flat out of work and can’t support their families!

    Liked by 4 people

    • WSB says:

      That was the FIRST thing my taller half said when we saw the first footage.

      “This looks like something out of a 3rd or 4th world country!!!!!! Not the US for God’s sake!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Esperanza says:

      My ex moved into a newly gutted building, among other things, no cables in the Internet grouting. Water soluble cement floor in the Italian shower. All immigrant labour paid hand to hand.

      A slightly funnier example, my town installed a lift for wheelchair users in the market come theatre. They went for the cheap eastern European option where no one spoke French. When the project was delivered there was no lift. Lol They had to hire the first French company who had to dismantle the previous work as it wasn’t done properly.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 4sure says:

      And we are paying for it. Any time a fed/state grant is paying for something, it is OVERPRICED. ALL of the grant money MUST be used. One NEVER returns any grant money. The grantor gets future grant money based on using all of the previous yr.’s money.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Liked by 2 people

    • Garavaglia says:

      The more I watch this footage..I see a failure along the length of the “bridge”..not a failure at the attachment to the pedestal it was placed on, which was my first guess. Does not appear the top falling on the walkway was the cause, as top and bottom fail simultaneously. Also appears the top and bottom “snap” at different places. Strange. We can’t see from this what is happening on the other end.


      • JohnP says:

        On the NBC live feed I was watching a couple of guys inspect the concrete near the north end at about 4pm. One of them seemed really interested in a piece of broken concrete from the roof section, he spent 5 minutes rubbing it with his hand. Then he did something curious, he carefully wrapped a piece of the poly safety fence over it. It was like he saw something that he didn’t want someone else to see. Then he went over to the other guy and they had a rather serious discussion, with a lot of hand gestures.

        Concrete gets stronger over time, so slab failure happens sooner rather than later. The upper surface of a slab compresses as the bottom surface is stressed in the opposing direction. Concrete withstands stress better than compression, so if the concrete failed most the most cracking will appear on the upper surface.


        • DaveK says:

          Sorry, you have it backwards… concrete is far stronger in compression than in tension. It’s the reason that reinforcing bars are placed in concrete, to take up some (sometimes most) of a tension load. “Prestressed” concrete is manufactured in a way that allows reinforcing elements (usually highly tensioned steel wires) to impose a significant compressive load onto a concrete structural component, ensuring that the entire component remains under compression when flexed by a lateral load.

          If they were looking at the roof section, it’s possible they were inspecting the anchors that would have terminated the suspension wires. If those anchors were improperly secured (bad concrete, bad grout, ???), it’s possible they failed during the load test and allowed the structure to drop and then fail.

          It will be very interesting to see the final report on the causes of this tragic failure. Somebody is going to need very deep pockets, and may even face criminal charges.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Sandra-VA says:

            They used a special type of concrete… I think it is explained in previous comments, but it was not traditional concrete. One thing that stood out was it was a type that does not cure well in high humidity.


  4. WSB says:

    Linda Figg is now the owner of the company after her father died years ago.

    Their website only has a few options. One of them seems to be a connection to low income students.

    And then this…

    “Figg became the firm’s sole owner in 1988. He died in 2002. His daughter, Linda Figg, is now CEO of the company. Its worldwide construction values top $14 billion.”

    “In 2004, while the Selmon Expressway project was underway, a concrete pier collapsed, causing work to stop while safety tests and reconstruction were performed. The mishap cost $120 million. FIGG was one of two engineering firms that were sued by the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority after the accident. The company eventually agreed to a settlement of $750,000.

    Other major projects FIGG has designed include the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys and the replacement for the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis, after the original collapsed in 2007.

    In 2012, part of a FIGG bridge in Virginia fell apart while it was under construction, according to the Virginian-Pilot. A 90-ton concrete portion of the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge fell 40 feet onto railroad tracks, the newspaper reported. Four workers suffered minor injuries. FIGG was fined $28,000 by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, which found the company violated safety rules.”

    Liked by 4 people

    • Esperanza says:

      Wow. Old Figg must be turning in his grave.

      Liked by 2 people

    • jlspeidel says:

      I was on that job. The truss collapsed. 11 out of 13 segments were on the truss when it fell. One segment landed on railroad tracks below. There were four guys on the truss. They were able to scramble up to the bridge to safety. There were only minor bumps and bruises. BTW, Linda Figg is a not a nice person.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Esperanza says:

        Do you know why it broke?


      • WSB says:

        Very sorry to hear of your experience.

        I used to work for someone that I thought was also not a nice person.

        I eventually left the firm, only because she had the same leverage that Linda Figg has.

        And the long and short from my experience is that the woman I dealt with, did eventually lose the firm and is now an employee (minor partner) of a larger group that somehow bought them (her and partners) out.

        So many innocent employees burned.

        And with Linda Figg, at least six souls dead.

        Again, sorry to hear of your trials.


  5. Gmike901 says:

    Shouldn’t the road have been closed down if the bridge was actively undergoing a stress test?

    Liked by 4 people

  6. DSP2 says:

    Why did the design require a suspension? There is a median strip where one and possibly two columns could have provided midway support.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kenji says:

      Because it looks really kewl … very Euro, you know. Same thing with the San Francisco Bay Bridge rebuild. The shallow mud of this part of the SF Bay could easily be spanned with a ribbon of concrete … but that would have been “too boring” … so a couple more hundred $ Billion was added to the taxpayers (and bridge fare) burden

      Liked by 3 people

    • Moultrie Flag says:

      It wouldn’t be “art”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Peter says:

    Grrl Power/Diversity bridge design:
    From Jim Stone:

    From the looks of the photos however, it appears to me that it was a common core design, with stylistic rather than working truss members. If an old schooler had built this, all the columns between the top and bottom sections would have been in perfectly symmetrical V shapes, rather than what we have here. And if you look at the first and second ones in from the left, they provided absolutely no strength, and that is where the bridge failed. It is a mystery how this ever got approved, it means the bridge architects and engineers were unilaterally incompetent, with fully incompetent state inspectors, the entire decision chain at the company, state, and local level was completely incompetent. This should have been rejected the second it hit the state inspector’s desk.

    The woman in the black car on the far left in the photo below said she heard pieces of the bridge falling on her car, and then suddenly the back seat was gone. This cinches it, the bridge failed right where the trusses were so stylized they did not provide any support at all, and after failing at that point (total failure preceeded by falling pieces as the bridge started to split up), it pulled itself off the support on the right side of the road. This is common core pure and simple folks, here we have the two photos that prove it. This bridge was designed to look “good” on paper, with no consideration whatsoever given to engineering at all. All you have to do is look at the top picture and you can clearly see why this bridge failed. It could not possibly be any more clear why giving advantage to certain groups of people in college should not be allowed, because it allows dangerous diplomas to be issued to people who never really qualified at all.

    Fashion over form, with no care at all given to form!

    Yes, but all those “angry white males” were stupid. Change is good!


    Liked by 3 people

    • WSB says:

      Excellent assessment, and this morning we have just learned that after moving the structure in place, one of the engineers noticed cracks in the bridge and left a voicemail, but it was not picked up.

      Somewhere on this thread, I thought that might be the case, after seeing the video of the rolling supports placing the span in its final resting place.

      What a needless tragedy.


    • Benson II says:

      The article also has very interesting information about the entire funding, materials used, engineering, etc. of the entire project. Great find. I shared it and saved it as we’ll be hearing more and more about this in the coming days.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Benson II says:

    Hoover damn still in operation but now we can’t even build a pedestrian bridge that lasts until it’s opened for use. Inexcusable doesn’t even cover it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is what appears to have happened – and its completely idiotic to put it mildly.

    They loosened the pre stressed cables to do a “stress test” without blocking the traffic flow under the bridge. The bridge was never designed to have these cable loosened. Especially not without the main support tower structure and support cables that were not in place yet. The only thing holding that span up there for the 5 days it was in place was the tensioned concrete. When that tension was removed the concrete decompressed and lost its strength to span. Putting the tension back on fractured the concrete and with its main support structure not in place yet the 950 ton weight was way way way too much load for a span of that length. What a bunch of morons.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. 4sure says:

    Lawyers are salivating over this collapse. The Federal gubmint, the state gubmint, the University, the construction firms, the suppliers of materials are all going to be named in lawsuits, and not a single suit will ever go to trial because this whole fiasco was a fk up from the very beginning. Who the hell pays 14 million for a pedestrian bridge? Who the hell does a stress test on a bridge while
    occupied passenger cars sit and pass under the bridge being tested? It was being tested to see if it would fail. That means it could possibly fail, that’s why the test was being done. Only an incompetent idiot would have conducted that test with the lanes open to traffic. Only idiots would have ever approved the plans to begin with. This will probably bankrupt this sorry incompetent co.

    Criminal charges should be filed against all those involved in this crapfest that killed innocent people.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Anyone know if these companies are stock related?
    could make some nice coin here.. shorting, I think, or is it “puts”? ?


  12. Patriot 1 says:

    Stress testing the structural integrity of a bridge while traffic is traveling underneath? What genius came up with this idea?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. JesterOftheCourt says:

    After days of reading about this tragedy I am impressed with the critical information CTH has provided in this article.
    It explains that the final design was to be a cable suspension and that the cranes were holding up the bridge at the suspension cable anchor points.
    This bridge was incomplete and the crane was not able to hold the weight as the final design with cables radiating from the pylon intended.
    VERDICT: sound design but total construction process fail. Willful, premeditated disdain for human life. I want convictions here.


  14. Harry Lime says:

    This is hard to watch. Someone needs to pay for the obvious tragic mistakes that were made in order for this to occur. Another 30 seconds and that school bus would have been crushed.


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