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Florida bridge collapses, taking two lives

The+bridge+collapsed+directly+onto+a+major+roadway%2C+killing+two.
The bridge collapsed directly onto a major roadway, killing two.

The bridge collapsed directly onto a major roadway, killing two.

photo via Wikimedia Commons under creative commons license

photo via Wikimedia Commons under creative commons license

The bridge collapsed directly onto a major roadway, killing two.

Lindsey Baum, Staff writer

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On March 15, tragedy struck University Park, Florida, a suburb just west of Miami. A 174 foot-long section of recently constructed footbridge collapsed onto a major highway, crushing several cars. The section of cement was estimated to weigh around 950 tons.

Construction of this bridge began in early 2016, just outside the campus of Florida International University. It was built with the aim of providing a safe route to cross the highway below, as a large percentage of students lived in housing across this roadway.

The bridge was lifted into place only five days prior to the collapse, as the highway below was closed and the University was on spring break.

However, from the time the structure was erected, several structural issues revealed themselves, including cracks in the cement. Engineers noticed the issue, and the bridge cables were tightened on the morning of the collapse.

Just hours later, the north end of the bridge collapsed inwards, crushing several cars stopped at a red light on the highway below. Six people were killed, including an FIU student and an employee for the cable-tightening company, while nine others were injured.

In the aftermath of the attack, the highway was closed, and over $5 million in federal funds intended for the construction of the bridge was suspended. An investigation has been launched into the matter by the National Transportation Safety Board, and a civil lawsuit has already been filed against the engineering firm responsible for constructing the bridge.

 

 

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