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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Engineer reported cracks on Florida pedestrian bridge

Por Nina

New evidence has emerged regarding the pedestrian bridge that collapsed on Thursday in western Miami, Florida USA. Now, an audio reveals that an engineer from the company that designed the bridge left a voice message reporting structural damage two days before the incident occurred, which killed at least six people.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the project's lead engineer, Denney Pate, left a voice message to a colleague at the FDOT, in which he warned about cracks in the structure two days before it collapsed: "There were some cracks in the far north," he told him. However, it was not until a day after the tragedy that the receiver arrived at his office and listened to it. In this regard, the FDOT stressed that the company in charge of engineering the project "at no time" warned of structural problems that posed a risk to life. "We are disconsolate over the loss of lives and injuries," the Department said. The bridge, located near the campus of Florida International University in southwestern Miami, was being built with the goal of providing college students and area residents with a safe passage on the Tamiami Trail.

The report was made by the main company official in charge of the design of the work and was transmitted through a voice message to an employee of the Florida Department of Transportation. That employee was out of the office and just received it this Friday, one day after the tragedy. According to the message, the crack was on the north side of the structure, but the company did not consider it a safety issue according to the transcript released by the department.

"We've seen it (the crack) and ... obviously some repairs or whatever it takes will be done, but from a security perspective we do not see any issues there so we're not worried," he said in the voice message. Engineer W. Denney Pate of the company that designed the structure, Figg Bridge Group. "In any case, obviously the crack is not good and you have to do something, you know, something to repair it", is heard in the voice message. In a statement, Figg Bridge Group said after knowing the existence of that message that "continues to work diligently with the construction team to help determine the cause of the collapse of the pedestrian bridge that was under construction at the International University of Florida."

He added that they are "disconsolate with the loss of lives and injuries" and that they continue to carefully examine the steps the team took to guarantee the safety of the public.