Almost three years after six people were killed when a pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University, plans are moving forward for a new one in the same location.
In a meeting this week, the university’s board of trustees approved the transfer of $9.1 million to the Florida Department of Transportation, which will oversee the design and construction of the bridge, the Miami Herald reported.
The bridge was under construction when the 950-ton span collapsed onto a busy Miami highway on March 15, 2018, trapping cars that had been stopped at a traffic light underneath. One construction worker and five people sitting in their cars were killed.
The new bridge will span the same highway, connecting the university’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus to the downtown area of a Miami suburb.
The Herald reported the university got the $9.1 million from different sources, including $8.5 million from the settlement with the contractors on the failed bridge.
FIU financed the first bridge through TIGER grants, which funded transportation plans as part of the Obama administration’s stimulus package to help the country recover from the Great Recession. The FDOT awarded $21 million in federal funds for the overall project, but that money got put on hold after the bridge fell,” the Herald Reported.
Last year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis authorized the Florida Department of Transportation to “accept responsibility for completing the new bridge and administering the design and construction contracts,” according to the resolution approved Tuesday by the university’s board.
The recently-erected bridge spanned Southwest Eighth Street, meant to connect the campus to student housing in Sweetwater. It happened “just days after cracks had been observed in the $14.3 million structure,” The Miami Herald reported.
Federal authorities fined Munilla Construction Management $25,868 for “serious” safety violations in its role as the contractor on the Florida International University bridge that collapsed in March, killing six people.
Republished with permission from The Associated Press.