By Sandra Rose  | 

FIU foot bridge

6 people were killed and at least nine injured when a foot bridge under construction at Miami's Florida International University collapsed on a busy eight-lane street on Thursday.

The 950 ton, 175-foot span foot bridge fell onto the roadway crushing cars that were waiting at a red light at 8th Street and 109th Avenue.

The bridge was built on the side of the roadway using FIU's "Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) technology". The construction contract was awarded to a minority contractor based in Miami.

The bridge would have connected FIU University to Miami's Sweetwater neighborhood, allowing students and faculty to cross safely over the busy street, where an 18-year-old FIU student was struck by a car and killed last year.

"It is exactly the opposite of what we had intended, and we want to express our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of those who have been affected," said FIU President Mark Rosenberg in a video.

Construction crews took just 7 hours to hoist the bridge span into place over the road on Saturday.

FIU foot bridge

The bridge was designed to be supported from above by a system of thick steel cables (see illustration) and a reinforced concrete center support column. But the cables had not been installed yet.

FIU foot bridge

On March 13, FIU president Rosenberg tweeted this photo of the bridge sitting on red construction equipment by the side of the road. That equipment was removed when the bridge was swung into place over the road with no cables to hold it up.

In theory, the bridge span should have supported its own weight until the cables were installed. But in reality, a bridge without center support will buckle under its own weight and collapse.

FIU foot bridge

A monitoring company responded to criticism from Twitter users after deleting the above tweet on Thursday.

BDI Test released a statement confirming it was hired by the crane company to monitor the stress on the bridge after it was hoisted into place on Saturday. The company wrapped up its work nearly a week before the walkway collapsed.

"BDI was contracted to conduct monitoring while the bridge was moved into place," the company stressed in a post on its website Thursday. "BDI was not involved in the bridge’s design or construction and no BDI personnel or equipment were onsite at the time of the incident."

The foot bridge was scheduled to open for pedestrians and cyclists in 2019.

The deadliest fail of a suspension or cable stayed walkway in the U.S. occurred on July 17, 1981 at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Missouri.

2 walkways, one directly above the other, collapsed onto a tea dance party in the hotel lobby, killing 114 people and injuring 216.

The official cause of the deadly Kansas City walkway collapse was "Structural overload resulting from design flaws." All engineers involved in the design and construction of the Hyatt Regency walkways lost their engineering licenses.

  • Soda

    Wow, BDI with the quickness: Don't blame us!

  • SaltineCrackers

    This was an act of pure negligence by all parties involved. RIP to those poor people waiting for the light to turn green.

  • Blue

    There were real braggy about that bridge. smh. RIP to the victims.

  • You Could Never

    I have actually been to this school and recall how BEAUTIFUL their campus is. I feel so SORRY for these people who lost their life at a stop light. I cannot fathom. RIP to them.

  • Phillybruh

    I can't imagine. Makes me wonder where else they are cutting corners with this shoddy construction.

  • Kayke

    This is so sad. How does it make sense to move the bridge into place if it had no support? Why would the support steel column and cables be the last thing installed? Makes no sense..... RIP to those who lost their lives and condolences to the familes. I hope all involved are striped of their licenses. Pure negligence.

  • Indies beauty

    Florida is small and all the young people are somewhat connected. This was all over my social media. Condolences

  • MissHarlem

    Something in the milk ain't clean but it's Friday I ain't trying to get deep nor blow my high. RIP to all lives lost and families that are affected.

  • Mia Said so

    Soda.. I like your pic thats going to be tomorrow.. cute

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    No way something like this should happen, especially with a bridge that's so new. This just reeks of negligence by a lot of different people. Lots of lawsuits are on the way, unfortunately.

    RIP to the victims.

  • SpillyNillie

    This is why I get antsy when I'm forced to stop underneath a bridge.

  • 5000BlinK

    #Praying for the Families

  • Jack Blakk

    China has different types of concrete and the U.S. or the Americas are always getting the cheapest. Mexico had just finished a beautiful bridge and just before they opened it, it fell. The new span of the Oakland side of the Bay bridge they're fixing on that every day bolts are popping out constantly. If you go cheap in one area you know they're going cheap in other areas!

  • Fire & Ice

    I live in Miami, and none of this surprises me. These people down here are Shady, and are constantly cutting corners. Contracts get awarded to companies, based on whether they're Hispanic, or who they know. The building inspectors are Shady and can be bought. Ride through any heavily populated Hispanic neighborhood in Miami, and it won't take long to figure it out. Heartbroken for the victim's and their families.

  • Ajavee

    This is terrible my condolences to those who died and injured;-(

  • Mischelle

    Wasn't it just installed on Saturday?

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    Yeah, I've been told that if you live in Miami and you're not Hispanic or Spanish-speaking, you're at a huge disadvantage... to the point that it's almost like you're a 2nd class citizen in your own country. Sad.

  • Phillybruh

    That's what I was thinking.

  • Ni Ni

    They need to quit trying to take shortcuts and build the right way.

  • Bonsai

    This is tragic. Who would've thought that driving underneath a bridge that it would collapse? Now imma start looking at bridges differently.

  • Fire & Ice

    It's true! The way this city operates, especially certain parts, you would never guess this is the USA. Smh

  • Alicia.Ashe

    My condolences to the families.

  • Y’all Jealous Cuz I’m Prudy

    ? LAWSUIT!!!

    R.I.P to everyone who lost their lives. This was preventable.

  • SandraRose

    The minority contractor bid $14 million to build the bridge. They probably built it on the side of the road for a third of that amount. Cheap construction cost lives.

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    They should have atleast had a center beam support for this bridge even if it meant the highway "looked awkward until the bridge was opened officially"...This was a shoddy rushed project with a firm who had a bridge collapse in 2012 which injured 4 construction workers...corner stay getting cut to get cheap structural bridge projects...the bridge firm has a contract with the Military also...

  • PhillyFacts

    But the cables had not been installed yet
    Well why the he// would they allow vehicles to drive under the bridge, and pedestrian to travel across it. SMDH

  • Nikkiknows

    This is an awful tragedy :(

  • MookieFly

    Sad these people lost their lives over something that clearly wasnt finished

  • Quitedeliteful

    LOLLOLLOL!!!!! Enjoy!!!

  • Fire & Ice

    Yes! Cheap construction cost lives. I think this same company got in trouble in Virginia, a while back. A podium or something collapsed, and they were fine 28,000. This time people are dead and severely injured.

  • SandraRose

    They said one lady refused to stop under the bridge, and a driver honked and went around her and got crushed to death.

  • Quitedeliteful

    This is so sad... I hope all these folks get sued out of existence...

  • SandraRose

    The bridge was sitting on temporary support braces. It's unbelievable to me that they moved it off the braces and over the road with no braces, no support, no cables, no nothing.

  • Phillybruh

    The school is getting sued, the construction company is getting sued, the company that did the inspection is getting sued. But watch only the workers get charged with a crime.

  • Y’all Jealous Cuz I’m Prudy

    You know it. They stay going after "easy targets" because they cant handle the fights with the big dogs. Those construction company's and everyone else who approved this mess, should be held responsible. The workers just showed up to do a job, without knowing about, all of the red tape, that was ignored to push this through.

  • Yoni7

    RIP to the victims.

  • Mama Dee’s Wig Maker

    This is so horrible

  • Wreckognize Game

    I drive to work on a street that has a train bridge on it. I always speed under it when a train is passing on it. This is just awful, you can't outrun this. I know I can't outrun a collapse either

  • Reina1718

    Seriously??? Wow thats crazy

  • SpillyNillie

    Wow! And unfortunate...

  • PhillyFacts

    Me as well this is insane; one word Sandy "negligence"!

  • Kemi

    RIP to the deceased and speedy recovery to the injured. It’s going to be a field day for them lawyers over there.

  • Shawty

    Imagine...sitting at a red we all do...and a concrete walkway starts to fall. Just crazy. I'm sure we all will be looking above us when sitting at lights after reading this. RIP to all those killed and hope all will be well for those that were hurt.

  • angrysolo

    hopefully no one suffered, terrible situation!

  • Jamey Rand

    I live in FL, in the area this happened in actually, and Florida itself is more concerned with money, getting more people here (tourists, out of country, etc.), then actually doing things correctly.

  • Jamey Rand

    It's sadly true. I moved down here from NH years ago, and I was shocked, I mean NH isn't exactly a great place for black people (more specifically black women), but damn, down here it's crazy.

  • Ebony N’ Sweet

    They have walk-ways like that all over the strip in Las Vegas.. I always get nervous driving underneath them.

  • Soon2BWife

    Just makes the tweets and hastags all the more obnoxious. The project accomplishes our mission beautifully....when sneak bragging goes terribly wrong. RIP and praying for the loves ones left behind.

  • Soon2BWife

    Arrogance always clouds good judgement.

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    Nobody from South Florida is surprised by this foolery. Typical Miami shenanigans. They need to stop hiring Pedro and dem without credentials.

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    Florida is *not* small lol It's one of the largest states in the U.S. And has the 3rd largest population in the U.S. We are far from "small". Miami-Dade County is *huge* btw. It takes like 2 hours from North to South in that one county. It's like driving through all of Houston.

  • Fire & Ice


  • luVn_liFe…

    lord that is even more tragic! rushed to his death :( SAD

  • luVn_liFe…

    yes goodness, Im in Broward Co and WISH to go down South for entertainment purposes.. but the thought of going out to Kendal so farrrrr SW or Homestead for events..I just can't.. too much

  • luVn_liFe…

    SR the bridge "was" built on the side of the road.. Supposedly FIU's engineers and engineering students built it, and FIU has it's own building department that approves plans and permits.
    the purpose of the Accelerated Bridge Building was to cut down on the amount of time and traffic congestion they take to build the bridge on site

  • hottlanta

    This is what happened when you privatize stuff. 'it is all about the money and not safety.

  • IamAllnatural

    And they have the nerve to say I should learn Spanish, wtf!
    Well, Obama & trump woke up the Cubans and brought them back to reality. Cubans are getting deported just like everyone else.??

  • IamAllnatural


  • IamAllnatural

    Florida is far from small.

  • IamAllnatural

    The state attorney said that there probably won’t be any criminal charges.

  • Readytochokemothernatureout


  • SandraRose

    I believe that. I used to live in Miami. I attended Miami Central high and Miami Dade Community College North campus. I used to date a chick on the women's basketball team at FIU. #GoodTimes



  • parisjok

    yes, something that one of my sisters went through while living there as a black female who did not speak english

  • parisjok

    hope u can find some peace and happiness until u can move away

  • Jamey Rand

    Thank you so much. I know the people leave much to be desired, but Miami is a beautiful place, so as long as I keep that in mind, I should be good LOL

  • neil barron

    You must have dyslexia. The definition you gave was for public government work. Read Californication Hi speed rail train Billions and Billions of costs overruns.

  • Michael Meede

    Right To Work State...... Need I say more

  • Xeno Nemos

    I don't get it - it wasn't going to be used until 2019, yet they rushed to install it in 7 hours and left it without cable support over traffic????
    What were they thinking?