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TxDOT completes NTSB report review

Posted at 4:02 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 00:17:36-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Texas Department of Transportation announced it has completed its review of the National Transportation and Safety Board's (NTSB) investigation into the pedestrian bridge accident at Florida International University.

FIGG Bridge Engineers, the design firm in charge of the Harbor Bridge Replacement Project, also designed the bridge at FIU that collapsed in March 2018, killing six people and injuring 10.

TxDOT's said it is now consulting with Flatiron Dragados, the developer and construction company in charge of the new Harbor Bridge project, to determine the project's next steps.

"Due to the uniqueness of the new bridge's main span, TxDOT is coordinating with the developer to further ensure that the appropriate oversight ... (in regards to) the cable-stayed portion of the bridge is fully implemented," the statement reads.

The FIU pedestrian bridge was 174 feet long. The new Harbor Bridge's main span length is designed to be more than 9 1/2 times that length, at 1,661 feet, and it will stand 205 feet over the water.

TxDOT confirmed to KRIS 6 News that it had suspended design work on the new bridge in November, just weeks after the NTSB report was made public.

The NTSB determined in October that "load and capacity calculation errors made by FIGG Bridge Engineers, Inc., are the probable cause of the fatal, March 15, 2018, Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapse in Miami."

Questions from KRIS 6 News about the NTSB's report were followed by TxDOT's suspension of new Harbor Bridge Replacement Project design.

The statement said other aspects of the project, including drainage, roadway and overpass construction, and the reconstruction of the Crosstown Expressway/I-37 interchange will proceed.

TxDOT said it will have a better idea of any construction delays or cost overruns once it meets with Flatiron Dragados.