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Top State Engineer Blames FIU And Contractor For Road Staying Open Before Deadly Bridge Collapse

fiu_bridge.jpg
PEDRO PORTAL
/
MIAMI HERALD
An aerial photo shows the fallen Florida International University bridge. It had developed cracking in the days before the collapse on March 15, 2018.

The busy highway under Florida International University’s pedestrian bridge, which crumbled in March 2018 and killed six people, should have been closed while crews were trying to repair cracks in a critical support strut, a top engineer with Florida’s Department of Transportation told federal investigators.

In a letter to the National Transportation Safety Board released on Tuesday, Will Watts, the chief engineer for FDOT, wrote that FIU and its contractor were responsible for asking the state to close Tamiami Trail — but never did.

The road should have been “completely closed to traffic if the contractor was undertaking activities that posed a risk to the public,“ Watts wrote. While FDOT supervised the federally funded project and was consulted during design and construction, the state agency has always insisted it played a limited role.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.