Reality is true even if you don’t want it to be. And it has certain characteristics, which includes the fact that you need to do engineering right. Firm blamed for deadly FIU pedestrian bridge collapse suspended from federal contracts.
There has been a lot of talk about how Mathematics is racist, and that Math is sexist. Well, math also describes the way the universe works, and if you want things like electric power, electric vehicles, better internet and computers, and bridges that don’t fall down, someone had better understand the math and the physics.
The FIU pedestrian bridge designed by FIGG Bridge Engineers collapsed in March of 2018 while it was still under construction. Six people died. Faulty design, due to incorrect calculations of load factors, was blamed.
Last month, the Federal Highway Administration placed FIGG on immediate suspension of any projects that involve federal funding. The FHWA also proposes that FIGG be debarred from any federally funded work for 10 years.
The company won’t survive under those conditions.
Texas decided to review work that the same design firm was doing for TxDOT. They didn’t like what they found. Harris County Commissioners vote unanimously to change engineer of $962 million Ship Channel bridge.
I am not an engineer, but clearly there was something wrong with either the design of the FIU bridge or the construction, or both. The other thing wrong was that FIU spent something like 12 million dollars for a bridge that could have been built for less than 1 million. There was a federal grant! I don’t know how to gauge the quality of their designs, but when you get bridges designed incorrectly, they fall down. They usually don’t fall down before they are in use.
Harris County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to change the engineer of record on the Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge after a review found one portion that had not yet been built contained a potential design flaw.
That design was done by FIGG. FIGG is saying it all fine. They were also replaced on another bridge in Texas. New designer named for Corpus Christi’s Harbor Bridge replacement after FIGG fired.
In removing FIGG from the project, TxDOT cited a National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the 2018 Miami bridge collapse. The report released in October cited load and capacity calculation errors by FIGG for the pedestrian bridge’s design.
You can find more info about the FIU bridge collapse at this link. It is what started this whole review process.