The pedestrian bridge that collapsed Thursday at Florida International University, resulting in what police called a “mass casualty” event, was rapidly installed just last weekend, according to the Miami Herald. The FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge was built using the Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) method that allowed the parts of the bridge to be built separately and assembled in “a single morning,” the Herald reported. The 174-feet, 950-ton main span of the bridge was lifted onto the already-built supports on either end of the Tamiami Trail roadway and installed on March 10. The bridge was still under construction and not cleared for use until early 2019. The university has a dedicated center to studying and teaching the “innovative installation method,” which aims to reduce building time as well as time impeding on traffic and pedestrian access. The two construction companies, MCM Construction and FIGG Bridge Design, behind the project also both have histories of bridge collapses during construction–in one instance, the bridge collapsed on top of workers, the Miami New Times reported. The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted that they would be “sending team to investigate bridge collapse in Miami” shortly after its Thursday afternoon collapse, which crushed cars beneath it, killing “multiple” people and injuring at least six others, per the mayor.
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