Company behind collapsed Miami bridge helped design Boston’s Zakim Bridge

BOSTON (WHDH) - The lead design company behind the pedestrian bridge that collapsed at Florida International University Thursday also worked on the Zakim Bridge.

According to the Tallahassee-based company’s website, FIGG Bridge Engineers was part of the planning process for the Zakim, which is the world’s widest cable bridge.

The FIU bridge was also supposed to set records as being the largest pedestrian bridge to be moved into place by self-propelled modular transportation.

Mock-ups of the bridge show similar design elements to those used on the Zakim, from being made of concrete to cables coming down from either side.

However, officials said there are major differences between the two bridges – a big one being that the Zakim carries thousands of cars in and out of Boston everyday. Another difference is that the footbridge was built and then moved into place.

MassDOT said the bridges aren’t similar in design or construction.

The company that designed the Zakim and the foot bridge in Miami said they’re reviewing what happened in Florida. They were not involved in the construction of the bridges.

MassDOT released the following statement on the Zakim:

“We have a robust inspection program for the Zakim Bridge and are fully confident in the safety of the Zakim Bridge and all Commonwealth of Massachusetts bridges, as we follow federal standards for regular inspections.

While the cause of the Miami pedestrian bridge collapse is unknown, the design of this pedestrian bridge is not similar to the design of the Zakim Bridge and is unique to the project site characteristics at its location in Miami.”

FIGG Bridge Engineers also released a statement on the collapse:

“We are stunned by today’s tragic collapse of a pedestrian bridge that was under construction over Southwest Eighth Street in Miami,” the company said in a statement. “Our deepest sympathies are with all those affected by this accident. We will fully cooperate with every appropriate authority in reviewing what happened and why.”

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)