Who is conducting the investigation? When will we know what happened?
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is conducting a thorough investigation of the bridge collapse. It will take some time, but we are confident that their report will explain what happened and how something like this can be prevented in the future. At this time, it is not known when the investigation will be completed, but we know the NTSB is acting with urgency, and we will provide updates as we have more information and as permitted by the NTSB.
What is FIU’s role in the NTSB investigation?
FIU is committed to transparency and accountability, and we are cooperating and assisting authorities fully in the effort to understand what happened. The NTSB has now designated Florida International University as a party to the investigation. As a result, we are limited in what information we can share and discuss about the project publicly. Likewise, public records related to the subject matter of the ongoing NTSB investigation that have been requested have been determined to be subject to the restrictions of 49 C.F.R § 831.13 (Federal law), and cannot be released at this time.
For more information on the NTSB’s investigative process and the party system the NTSB uses, please visit https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/process/Pages/default.aspx.
Can FIU share any updates regarding the investigation?
The NTSB’s investigation is ongoing. As a party to the investigation, FIU is limited in what it can share, and the NTSB controls the dissemination of certain information related to the investigation. We will provide additional updates as appropriate and as permitted by the NTSB.
Is Southwest 8th Street open? Are there any street closures or traffic issues?
Southwest 8th Street reopened on the morning of Saturday, March 24, 2018.
All traffic around MMC has returned to normal, including the Turnpike exits.
What is the FIU community doing to commemorate those who were lost in the tragedy?
We are heartbroken over the collapse of the pedestrian bridge on Southwest 8th Street and the resulting devastation. We grieve for the victims and send our deepest condolences to the all those affected and their families. They are in our thoughts and prayers.
The days and weeks to come will be difficult, and we have come together as a community to mourn, show the victims’ families our support and start on the path toward healing. The week after the collapse, we observed a moment of silence, hosted a blood drive for those still in the hospital and held a vigil to remember the victims. We will continue to keep the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers, and we will provide more updates as appropriate.
What counseling services are available for students, faculty, staff and the community?
We have counseling resources available for students, faculty, staff and the community. Students who feel affected by this tragedy should reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services, 305-348-2277, or visit the Student Health Center, Room 270. Faculty and staff can reach out via the Office of Employee Assistance, 305-348-2469, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
The FIU Center for Children and Families is offering free individual consultations for any families with children who may have been affected by the bridge collapse. Call 305-348-0477 to schedule an appointment.
FIU Health is also offering free mental health and counseling services for students, faculty, staff and members of the community who feel affected by this tragedy. Services are being provided at the Faculty Group Practice at 885 SW 109th Ave #131, 305-348-3627. You can call ahead or walk-in.
Faculty and staff who have been directly impacted and feel the need to take time off, please notify your immediate supervisor.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BRIDGE
Did FIU design and build the bridge?
As part of a 2013 US Department of Transportation TIGER grant, FIU awarded a Design-Build contract for the bridge through a competitive, public process. However, FIU and its affiliated entities, including the Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC), did not design or build the bridge. The bridge was designed by FIGG Bridge Engineers and built by MCM Construction. Barnhart Crane and Rigging operated the equipment that placed the bridge on its supports.
How does FIU ensure it follows all proper procedures and protocols for construction projects?
FIU has a thorough process for hiring contractors for building projects and works with all appropriate authorities to follow the legal and regulatory requirements. For this project, FIU also awarded a contract through a public competitive process to Bolton Perez and Associates to provide Construction, Engineering and Inspection services. This project also was administered as an FDOT Local Agency Program (LAP) with additional requirements. We are confident that FIU followed all proper procedures and protocols.
What is Accelerated Bridge Construction?
Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) is a construction technique that allows for the building of bridges offsite to minimize on-site construction time and reduce traffic interruptions related to the construction of the bridge. A bridge, as a whole, or in part, is constructed off-site and then installed over a short period of time. The term “accelerated” refers to the placement of the bridge and not its construction time. The total construction time in ABC is about the same, or even longer, than conventional construction methods.
This post was originally published on Friday, March 16, 2018, at 5:43 p.m. and updated on March 30, 2018 at 4:15 p.m.