Collapsed bridge raises concerns over construction techniques

Long Lunch 16/03/2018
Photo: Reuters

Between six and ten people have been killed when a newly-erected pedestrian bridge spanning several lanes of traffic collapsed at Florida International University on Thursday (local time), a US Senator has said.

Eight vehicles were trapped in the wreckage of the 950-tonne bridge and eight people have been transported to hospitals, officials said a news conference.

Dough Phillips from the Sun Sentinel in Florida joined Wendyl Nissen on the Long Lunch to provide details on the tragic event.

“Ironically, the bridge was partially planned because a student pedestrian got killed last year crossing this very bust street,” he said.

The Sun Sentinel journalist said the US$14.2m bridge was quickly built using a construction technique which could be set to be investigated.

Florida International University had previously tweeted the bridge was first of its kind, and included a video of the bridge “swinging” into place. 

According to ABC News, the bridge also used Accelerated Bridge Construction methods, where the construction is primarily completed off-site before moving the bridge to its final placement.

Mr Phillips predicts there will be a “massive investigation” to uncover whether the techniques used to build the bridge were sound.

“The bridge wasn't going to open to pedestrians for a year from now,” he said.

Listen to the full interview with Doug Phillips above. 

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.