As Naples construction lawyers, we know that sometimes things in the construction industry do not go as planned. Whether it’s receiving an OSHA citation, having a worker injured on-site, or, in the most extreme cases, a defective design in a project that leads to a negligence claim. When tragedy strikes, like the Florida International University (FIU) pedestrian bridge collapse in Miami, it’s important to closely analyze what went wrong with the construction process and how to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. As Naples construction attorneys and construction industry professionals, we need to work together to solve these types of issues.
As we have covered in the first section of this five-part article, accelerated bridge construction (ABC) technology will be part of the process of producing bridges in the future. In section two, we educated our readers on the different ways this technology can be applied. In the third and fourth section, we provided reasons why the ABC process can positively impact the construction industry. In this section, we will discuss the short-term safety measures that need to be taken to ensure that workers and the public are safe.
Tragedy Strikes Miami Construction Project
Utilizing ABC technology, the FIU-Sweetwater University City Bridge was supposed to be a symbol of innovation; however, within days of being erected the bridge collapsed and killed six bystanders. The 170-foot pedestrian walkway, which was part of the 320-foot design, was built adjacent to the highway and installed in just six hours. The pedestrian bridge was the largest in the United States to be moved into place and the first bridge to use a smart concrete or self-cleaning concrete component. Within five days of being installed, significant cracking in the foundation formed and the bridge collapsed while undergoing post-tensioning cable tightening commonly known as a stress test.
Finding a Solution
With the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) currently investigating the scene, we will soon know the reasons why the bridge began to crack and eventually collapse. Although ABC technology has many benefits, it’s important to weigh the importance of the accelerated process against ensuring the safety of workers and the public. This ABC technology has evolved from its embryo stage 30 years ago to being capable of replacing structures in less than one day; however, as construction industry professionals and Naples construction lawyers, we need to ensure that these ambitious projects meet the highest standards before implementation. With so many talented people involved in the construction industry, we are confident that we will develop the right solutions to these problems in the near future.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.