© 2021 WLRN
MIAMI | SOUTH FLORIDA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

Metrorail Rushes To Fix ‘Slabs Of Concrete That Could Literally Fall And Kill Somebody’

251E017D-5DD0-44B8-978B-95AAB7415531.jpeg
Photo provided by Miami-Dade County Transportation and Public Works Department
/
A Miami-Dade repair crew surveys the damage of a Metrorail acoustical barrier that failed in July 2018. A passing train hit the debris, causing delays throughout the system. County consultants warned Miami-Dade the barriers needed to be replaced in 2012.

Miami-Dade County Commissioners on Tuesday approved emergency repairs for a potential crisis first flagged seven years ago, when engineers warned the county that concrete barriers on the elevated rail system were falling down and endangering pedestrians and passengers. 

A 2012 report from the Atkins engineering firm first detailed problems with the hollow acoustical walls that were constructed when Metrorail launched in the 1980s. Atkins engineers said “failure of these panels may occur during a Category 1 hurricane or an extremely strong microburst weather event.” The report said it was “imperative to either replace or strengthen these panels in a reasonable period of time to maintain the safety of the traveling public.” 

“We’re talking in terms of slabs of concrete that could literally fall and kill somebody,” Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo said Tuesday.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.