MiamiHerald / Hours before Florida International University’s new pedestrian bridge collapsed onto traffic, the school met with engineers and the state’s Department of Transportation for two hours to discuss whether a crack on the structure was a safety risk, FIU said in a statement Saturday.
The disclosure followed a Friday night announcement from FDOT that an engineer hired by FIU had called the agency days before the March 15 collapse to flag the crack and say he did not think it was a safety issue. The voicemail message was not received until Friday, according to FDOT.
Also in the statement, FDOT said one of its consultants attended a meeting with the FIU bridge team — including executives from Munilla Construction Management, the contractor, and Figg, the engineering contractor — hours before the collapse that killed at least six people. The statement said no “life-safety issues” were discussed. The statement did not mention that the crack in the bridge came up during the meeting. FIU said the crack was the reason the meeting was called, and that it lasted two hours.
In its own statement Saturday morning, FIU said the crack was discussed in the presence of an FDOT representative. “The FIGG engineer of record delivered a technical presentation regarding the crack and concluded that there were no safety concerns and the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge,” the statement read. “This meeting lasted approximately two hours and included FIU and FDOT representatives.”