The Texas DOT (TxDOT) recently announced that FIGG Bridge engineers—the design firm that worked on the collapsed FIU pedestrian bridge—is being removed from any future work on the main spans of U.S. 181 Harbor Bridge replacement project in Corpus Christi.
According to a report from The News of San Patricio, TxDOT said in a statement that it had instructed Flatiron/Dragados LLC, the Harbor Bridge project's developer, to no longer allow FIGG to work on the main spans of the bridge. The main spans of the cable-stayed bridge will cross the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.
Nearly two months ago, TxDOT told the developer that it was suspending FIGG's design work on the Harbor Bridge so the department could have a chance to review the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation of the FIU bridge collapse—which concluded that FIGG made significant design errors that led to the structure's fatal collapse—in order to determine the "applicability to TxDOT projects."
“As we have done since the inception of this project, TxDOT will continue oversight of all design work, including work performed by the replacement design firm in the future,” TxDOT’s Chief Engineer Bill Hale told The News of San Patricio. “TxDOT is committed to taking the time necessary to carefully ensure and verify that the highest safety standards are met, as we do with all projects.”
This news comes just a few days after The Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) announced it was temporarily pausing bridge construction work on the main pylons of the cable-stayed portion of the Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge replacement project—a project that also has FIGG as designer. The HCTRA said it hired an independent consultant to conduct a complete review of FIGG's engineering design for the bridge.
The replacement design firm for the Harbor Bridge will be tasked with reviewing and recertifying the current design as well as recommending modifications if necessary.
SOURCE: The News of San Patricio