In the photo: large cracks that appeared on the runway of Florida International University five days before the bridge collapsed, killing six and wounding eight
Large cracks appeared on the pedestrian bridge of the International University of Florida, a few days before it collapsed, killing six.
An update from the National Transportation Safety Board says its investigation has revealed significant breakdowns in the concrete surfaced after the bridge was moved to its place on the road on March 10.
An image shows the cracks in the photographs taken after the installation, only five days before the 174-foot long gangway collapsed and while the bridge was still under construction.
The NTSB interviewed employees of eight firms and organizations involved in the design, inspection and construction of the bridge, and the investigation continues.
Earlier, it was revealed that engineers working on the pedestrian bridge had discovered "worrisome" cracks in the structure two weeks before it collapsed, killing six people, including FIU student Alexa Duran.
According to the Miami Herald, photographs and an email inadvertently posted by the school's details about the problematic cracks found in a key concrete support frame that supports the bridge.
The exit reports that the cracks were found 10 days before school engineers put the bridge in place on US Route 41. UU., Known locally as Tamiami Trail.
A new report states that the FIU construction and engineering team found cracks in the bridge two weeks before it collapsed
A February 28 memo from an engineer consultant from the school said that one of the cracks in the structure deserves special attention & # 39;
The cracks were found in a key concrete support frame, which supports the bridge
The bridge collapsed on March 15 and killed six people, including a student at the International University of Florida.
The 950-ton structure collapsed on March 15 and killed Duran, 18, Navaro Brown, 37, Brandon Brownfield, Rolando Fraga Hernandez, 60, Osvaldo Gonzalez, 57, and Alberto Arias, 54.
Minor cracks in concrete structures are common, but depending on the output, several cracks discovered by the FIU construction and engineering team at the end of February were "worrying".
Alexa Duran, 18, was one of the victims of the collapse of the bridge
An email, which the Herald obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, shows that the cracks were found at the base of a diagonal support member at the north end of the stretch.
Three of the four independent contractors with whom the Herald spoke said the cracks were "red signs" and pointed & # 39; potentially critical structural problems & # 39;
They said the cracks should have prompted FIU engineers to stop work on the bridge and conduct a thorough review that would likely have resulted in a reconfiguration of the truss connection.
One of the engineers, Linwood Howell, said the cracks were a sign of "impending failure". of the structure.
"There's nothing they could have done before starting over and redesigning the structure," said Howell, whose firm conducts bridge inspections for the state of Texas.
Ralph Verrastro, of Naples, Florida, told the publication that after examining the photographs and other details, the cracks did not seem significant and did not "clearly provide any clues related to the ultimate failure."
"I would assume that these cracks would have been repaired with an epoxy injection before moving the bridge," he said.
Alberto Arias (right) and Rolando Fraga (left) were killed while driving under the pedestrian bridge of the UIF on March 15
Friends Oswald Gonzalez (left), 57, and Alberto Arias (right) also died in the collapse
Bridge worker Navaro Brown is among the six victims of the fatal collapse of the pedestrian bridge
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the collapse. The $ 14.2 million structure was built to connect FIU to parts of the school's student housing on US Route 41. UU
Because the FIU has been discouraged from publishing records and memos related to the structure, it is not clear if the school's engineering and construction team handled the cracks.
The Herald also obtained a February 28 memo from Jose Morales, a consulting engineer from the school, who wrote that a particular crack "deserves special attention" and urged the bridge engineer to "give an answer."
The cracks that Morales mentioned in the memo were found before the bridge was put in place, reports the Herald. Again, it is unclear whether the FIU responded to the memorandum and in what manner, and a clear cause for the collapse will probably not be established until the National Transportation Safety Board completes its investigation.
According to the Herald, 10 days after Morales sent the note, the pedestrian bridge rose in its place. Five days after it was put in place, the bridge collapsed while it was still under construction.
The $ 14.2 million structure was built to connect FIU with parts of the school student housing through US Route 41. UU
An NTSB investigation is ongoing and includes eight organizations involved in the construction of the bridge