The Latest: Rods were being adjusted when bridge fell
MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on the bridge collapse in Florida (all times local):
Federal investigators say they’ve confirmed that workers were adjusting a tension rod on a newly installed portion of a pedestrian bridge when it collapsed on a busy highway, killing six people.
The National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday said that workers were adjusting a second tension rod on the north end of the span last week after having done the same on the south end just before.
When completed, the bridge was to span a highway and canal and connect Florida International University’s campus to the neighboring community of Sweetwater.
The board said it is also removing bridge components for further testing. All of them are from the north end of the structure, including portions of the walkway’s canopy, floor and vertical and diagonal support pieces.
Hundreds of Florida International University students gathered for a vigil Wednesday morning for the six victims of a pedestrian bridge collapse near their campus.
The names of the victims were displayed on a screen inside a ballroom on the Miami-area campus. Loud gasps and crying could be heard from the crowd when the name of FIU student Alexa Duran appeared on the screen.
FIU President Mark Rosenberg said the school remained in deep shock over the collapse Thursday of the 950-ton (860-metric ton) structure onto a busy roadway.
The bridge was intended to connect the campus with the neighboring city of Sweetwater. Mayor Orlando Lopez said the construction project aimed to save lives but ended in tragedy.
Documents show construction of a Miami area pedestrian bridge that collapsed and killed six people was behind schedule and millions over budget amid a key design change involving the placement of one of its support towers.
The documents obtained by The Associated Press show the Florida Department of Transportation in October 2016 advised Florida International University and its contractors to move one of the bridge’s main support structures 11 feet (3 meters) north to the edge of a canal, requiring some new structural design.
The span’s signature, 109-foot-tall (33-meter-tall) pylon was to be built atop a base at the span’s northern end. Videos of Thursday’s collapse show a prefabricated concrete segment of the bridge began crumbling on the same end of the span where the tower redesign occurred.