More details are flowing in concerning the pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University in the city of Sweetwater.
Crews installed a 950-ton span in place on Saturday, and witnesses say the span dropped on Tamiami Trail without warning and when drivers were stopped at a red light. First responders have been scrambling to save anyone who still might be trapped under the bridge. Several fatalities have been reported, but a number has not been confirmed. Munilla Construction installed the 174-ft-long bridge, which was designed by FIGG Bridge Engineers. To see video of the collapsed bridge, click here. The cause of the accident has yet to be determined.
So far calls into FIGG Bridge Engineers have not been returned, and the company’s website has been taken offline, but FIU has released the following statement:
“We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge. At this time we are still involved in rescue efforts and gathering information. We are working closely with authorities and first responders on the scene. We will share updates as we have them,” the statement said.
FIU officials broke ground on the pedestrian bridge on March 29, 2016, and the idea was to create a safer path for the students and local residents who cross SW 8th Street and 109th Avenue. The span connects FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique campus to the city of Sweetwater. The bridge is part of a $124 million UniversityCity Prosperity project at FIU, which aims to develop an economically stable downtown Sweetwater and alleviate traffic congestion in the area.