Today in Miami, a newly-installed bridge connecting Sweetwater to the Florida International University campus collapsed on several people. Reportedly, the 950-ton structure fell without warning onto a large group of cars stopped at a red light. There are multiple confirmed deaths, while others have been loaded into ambulances and taken to the local trauma unit. Emergency responders believe there are at least 8 vehicles still trapped under the 174-foot long structure.
FIU, a college with a renowned engineering department, commissioned the bridge as part of a multi-million dollar initiative to connect the campus with the surrounding area (a project referred to as UniversityCity). The bridge was federally funded and scheduled to be completed in 2019, along with a plaza and additional sidewalks. It was designed by FIGG Bridge Engineers and built by MCM off-site (both private companies), but it was finally installed this past Saturday.
The bridge was reportedly installed using a brand-new technique that made it less intrusive for traffic. According to reports from the installation event, it was secured by swinging it into place.
Built for Student Safety
The FIU-Sweetwater bridge was designed to make crossing the street safer for students. College officials (at the bridge installation ceremony) also cited that the bridge was representative of their mission to "build bridges" into the community.
Our hearts go out to the West Miami-Dade community. We hope the emergency teams are able to rescue those caught in the rubble, and our prayers are with the survivors currently receiving emergency care.