BOSTON (WHDH) - The lead design company behind the pedestrian bridge that collapsed at Florida International University on Thursday co-designed Boston’s 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, particularly a center supporting tower and cables coming down from either side.
The main part of the 174-foot span was assembled at the side of the road while support towers were built at either end. The 950-ton bridge was meant to connect the City of Sweetwater directly with FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus.
The much larger size of the Zakim compared to the FIU bridge is one major difference.
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.”
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