Miami Bridge Collapse


Early last week, in Miami, Florida, a bridge collapsed at Florida International University.

This disaster left 6 dead and many injured.  This came as a huge shock to most people and many were mad. However, some people knew that a disaster was coming and that the bridge needed to be checked.

A couple of days before it collapsed, the engineer responsible for the bridge called and left a message  to the state transportation official. In the message, he reported that the bridge “had some unusual cracking” and that it was a hazard. Sadly, the official didn’t listen to the message until after the bridge collapse.

Tess Barnes (11) is one of many people who were shocked to hear the news. She believes that the engineer was at fault here.

“I think the engineers and people in charge at the school should have been more careful.  I saw on the news that they knew it wasn’t totally safe to go on and they still let people and now several people died because of it,” said Barnes.

Barnes was shocked, but at the same time disappointed that no one did anything, even though the “works” had been in progress for a while now.

The difficulties began in 2016. The Florida Department of Transportation talked to the officials of the project and said that one of the pylons of the bridge needed to be moved. After many difficulties about what to do with the bridge’s pylon, it was decided to move it 11 feet to the north. The cost of all of the repairs, moving, etc. was not in the final document. Many people think that the movement of this one pylon could have caused the bridge to deteriorate and fall.

Documents reveal that even the engineers and personnel who worked on the bridge knew something was wrong. Robert Bea, who is an engineering professor at the University of California,   said that the base of the tower may have been more flexible due to being moved closer to the canal. He also said that he doesn’t think that the movement caused it, but moving it did require another steel support to be made and that might have been the cause. The engineer who called and said that the bridge needed to be looked at is receiving backlash.

I think that’s ridiculous and the people in charge of it should be sued or go to jail or something.  They knew it wasn’t completely safe and they still let people go on it which resulted in several deaths,” said Barnes.

Many people have many different theories. Senator Marco Rubio said that, “Tightening of the bridges inner cables could have contributed to the collapse…” He continued, saying that more testing needs to be done.

There were witnesses to the collapse as well. There is even a video circulating around the internet showing the collapse of the bridge as it was caught on tape from a dashcam.

“ I probably would’ve freaked out and not been able to process what had happened at first.  I would’ve called the police first, and then run over and see if we could get anyone out or help them at all.  If we could reach someone, I would’ve tried to help pull them out without making anything else fall or move,” said Barnes.

Her thoughts and reaction was the same as many, as many people stopped and helped. However, this did not stop many tragic deaths. The deaths include Alexa Duran, Alberto Arias, and Brandon Brownfield, who were under the bridge; Navarro Brown, who was working on site; Rolando Fraga Hernandez, who was in their own car; and Oswald Gonzalez, who was a passenger in a car. These are the sad deaths that have been reported and people fear there may be many more.

I think the engineers were just lazy and irresponsible and I hope they get severe consequences for this. It was totally preventable but they just didn’t care to finish their job completely,” said Barnes.

Many also believe that the engineers are at fault. Hopefully next time, the cracks will be acknowledged and will be fixed. Hopefully, this can prevent more deaths in the future.