The 115-page report by the
The report details a catalog of errors ranging from a "deficient" design by
The 930-ton span fell onto the roadway as motorists were waiting under the bridge at a stoplight. Six people were killed, including one construction worker. Another worker was permanently disabled.
The report also dings FIU and the
FIU declined to comment, citing an open investigation by the
The document also confirms what independent experts who examined the bridge design plans and engineering calculations for the
"FIU, FDOT and MCM did not insist that all computations performed by FIGG, including FIGG's recommendation to re-tension the PT bars, be peer reviewed. They deferred to FIGG's conclusions, and failed to apply their own judgment and judiciousness, even though FDOT, BPA and MCM have extensive experience in bridge and concrete construction,"
FIGG comes in for an unusually blunt thrashing by
But the report notes that Pate and his team were sufficiently concerned to ask MCM to hurry up construction of the bridge's back end, a connector leading from the cracking north end of the completed span to
The report also zeroes in on what it says were consequential lapses by
"The entire review was conducted by one engineer without any assistance from others at Louis Berger. It is interesting to note that neither FIGG, FIU nor FDOT raised the issue of why the structural design of the intermediate stage was not checked by
The report notes that FIU and FDOT may not have known that
"This case is a lot worse than I thought it was in the beginning. All involved let the public down. And the final error in not shutting down the roadway continues to shock me, and even more so now," Grossman said.
He said he found sections touching on
"It lays to waste one of their chief defenses," Grossman added. "
The engineers should have known the bridge needed to be shored up immediately "until final evaluations were done and remedial measures implemented," the report says.
Construction workers began expressing concerns about cracking soon after the span was lifted into place over the road on
"It cracked like hell," he wrote in a text message accompanying a photo of the cracks. The text went to his boss at tensioning subcontractor VSL,
Two days later, on
Isaza wrote "some of these cracks are rather large and/or of concern...your immediate attention and response is required." But as late as the morning of the collapse, FIGG showed no sign of a sense of urgency and no concern over safety, the report indicates.
FIGG appeared to downplay the cracks,
"In fact, the cracks were expanding every day. In the meeting on the morning of the collapse, BPA informed MCM that the cracks were expanding in length, as recorded by BPA in the minutes from the meeting on
In fact, the report notes, the cracks were several inches deep. Under FDOT specifications, cracks deeper than half an inch are classified as significant structural cracks,
"FIGG should have also noticed that the cracks were getting longer, wider and deeper compared to the pictures of the cracks they had seen earlier," the
The report also takes aim at the sole FDOT representative at the meeting, a civil and mechanical engineer named
The report also raises questions about FIGG's design. It concludes that a critical connection point at the span's north end where a diagonal support piece met the pedestrian deck was too weak to resist the diagonal "shearing" forces placed on it once the bridge was suspended in place over a pair of pylons, one at each end. The cracks, which appeared almost immediately, should have been a warning sign,
The cracking should have been especially concerning to FIGG because of another questionable design decision,
But FIGG's design for FIU boasted only a single line of trusses running along the center, meaning failure of any one element could cause the bridge to fall,
"The selection committee was swayed by the graphics and rendering of the bridge and did not consider the non-redundancy of the structure," the report states.
(c)2019 Miami Herald
Visit Miami Herald at www.miamiherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.