Engineer of collapsed Miami bridge faraway from Texas bridge venture, faces evaluate in one other

The $802.9 million U.S. 181 Harbor Bridge substitute venture in Corpus Christi will outcome within the longest cable-stayed bridge in the USA, in accordance with TxDOT. Photograph credit score: TxDOT

The engineering agency blamed for the deadly collapse of a pedestrian bridge at Florida Worldwide College in Miami has been faraway from an $802.9 million bridge substitute venture in Texas and its work is being reviewed on one other, $962 million bridge venture within the state.

The Texas Division of Transportation has known as for the elimination of FIGG Bridge Engineers on the U.S. 181 Harbor Bridge Substitute Venture in Corpus Christi. The TxDOT cited the findings of a Nationwide Transportation Security Board investigation of the 2018 Miami bridge collapse in its resolution.

“The findings relating to FIGG are important sufficient for TxDOT to request a substitute design agency for the New Harbor Bridge fundamental spans,” says a TxDOT assertion.

The announcement follows the company’s suspension of FIGG on the venture after the NTSB’s report was launched in October. The report cited load and capability calculation errors by FIGG for the Miami bridge’s design. It additionally mentioned efforts by FIGG to handle giant cracking within the bridge led to the collapse that killed six folks and injured others.

One of many cracks on truss member 11 of the Florida Worldwide College pedestrian bridge in Miami proven two days earlier than the March 15, 2018, collapse in a photograph by contractor Munilla Development Administration, and offered by the NTSB.

The NTSB report additionally acknowledged that the Florida Division of Transportation, Florida Worldwide College, contractor Munilla Development Administration (which has modified its title to Magnum Development Administration), and Bolton Perez & Associates Consulting Engineers failed of their oversight duties by not closing the street beneath the bridge or conducting correct peer evaluate.

FIGG has denied it was at fault for the collapse, saying it was attributable to building flaws not the design. The agency launched this assertion:

“FIGG was shocked by Texas Division of Transportation’s press launch regarding FIGG’s design position on the cable-stayed fundamental span and relating this to the development accident on a pedestrian bridge in Miami.”

The assertion cited an impartial research by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. (WJE), a forensic engineering agency FIGG employed to find out the collapse’s trigger.

WJE mentioned in a press release the collapse wouldn’t have occurred if the development joint between the northernmost diagonal and deck on the Miami bridge had been roughened as required by the venture’s specs. It mentioned the shear-friction resistance of the unroughened joint was lower than the shear pressure on the time of the collapse. “As such, in our investigative report, WJE concluded that the collapse was attributable to a building error.”

The NTSB, nonetheless, rejected building flaws as a trigger. It mentioned FIGG overestimated the capability of truss member 11 and underestimated the load by selecting the flawed load issue. Although FIGG didn’t know the reason for the cracking, it determined to retension post-tension bars for truss member 11. It had additionally assured stakeholders within the bridge venture that the bridge was secure, simply hours earlier than its collapse.

Previous to the NTSB report, FIGG settled lawsuits with the victims and the deceased’s households for an undisclosed quantity. Different corporations concerned within the bridge’s collapse have additionally settled. The contractor, Magnum Development Administration, previously generally known as Munilla Development Administration, not too long ago reached a $103 million settlement via chapter court docket to be shared among the many victims and households of the deceased.


One other FIGG bridge below evaluate

The $962 million Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge will exchange the present bridge throughout the channel at State Freeway 225 to Interstate 10. Photograph credit score: Harris County Toll Highway Authority

FIGG can be the designer of the Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge Substitute Venture.

The venture is the biggest ever by the Harris County Toll Highway Authority. The authority paused building January 11 of the principle pylons on the cable-stayed portion of the bridge for a advisor to evaluate FIGG’s design. The advisor decided the curved parts of the pylons weren’t stiff sufficient to assist the bridge deck. HCTRA is permitting FIGG to design an answer for advisor COWI North America to evaluate.

In response to the pause on the ship channel bridge, FIGG launched this assertion:

“It’s typical for 2 impartial engineers to have some variations, and we’re working collaboratively to fulfill each COWI’s and FIGG’s evaluations of the Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge Substitute Venture. FIGG is happy to work with HCTRA and their impartial engineering consultants and contractor to offer a remaining venture that may be a level of perform and pleasure inside the neighborhood.”

The authority expects COWI to finish its evaluate by March.

“When the engineer of document and the impartial advisor attain concurrence on mandatory design answer, work will resume on the pylons,” the authority mentioned in a January 11 assertion. “It’s anticipated that this might take roughly three weeks.”


Harbor Bridge delays

The Harbor Bridge, when accomplished, would be the tallest level in South Texas. Photograph credit score: TxDOT

The TxDOT’s resolution to take away FIGG from any work on the principle spans of the Harbor Bridge venture in Corpus Christi will doubtless trigger delays to its completion because the substitute design agency might want to evaluate FIGG’s plans, the DOT mentioned in a press release.

“The substitute design agency shall be tasked with reviewing and recertifying the present design in addition to recommending modifications, if mandatory,” the assertion says. “This improvement might lead to delays to the venture and, as extra element turns into obtainable, TxDOT will share any results this will likely have on the venture timeline.”

Work on the opposite features of the venture continues, together with drainage, roadway and overpass building and reconstruction of the interchange at I-37/U.S. 181/SH 286, the DOT says. 

TxDOT provides that “all building work accomplished to this point on the venture is secure and has been inbuilt compliance with contract necessities and specs.”

“As we now have finished because the inception of this venture, TxDOT will proceed oversight of all design work, together with work carried out by the substitute design agency sooner or later,” mentioned Invoice Hale, TxDOT chief engineer. “TxDOT is dedicated to taking the time essential to rigorously guarantee and confirm that the very best security requirements are met, as we do with all initiatives.”