FIU broke agreement with choice of firm for pedestrian bridge according to FDOT - UPDATED

March 17, 2018

An independent, secondary design check was required, and university did not choose from agency’s pre-qualified list

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently released a fact sheet on the bridge collapse near Florida International University (FIU).

Among the bullet points is the following:

Under the terms of the procurement issued by FIU and due to the unique characteristics of the design of the bridge, and independent, secondary design check was required. Under this project, it is the responsibility of FIU’s design-build team to select the firm used to conduct the independent, secondary review. The firm selected, Louis Berger, was not pre-qualified for this service, which is required under FIU’s agreement with the state. This is according to FDOT; FIU contacted Roads & Bridges this morning to state that all firms used were, in fact, on the pre-qualified list, contradicting FDOT. 

FDOT’s involvement was limited to:

  • Issuing a permit for traffic control during installation of the structure last Saturday;
  • Acting as a pass-through for federal funding and providing $57,000 in state funding for this $16.5 million project;
  • Conducting a routine preliminary review to ensure this project complied with the terms of the agreement with the state. This is a standard process FDOT conducts for projects like this; and
  • Authorizing FIU to utilize the aerial space above the state road to build a structure, which FIU and its contractors are solely responsible to inspect and maintain at the university’s sole expense.