Jandra Sutton
March 17, 2018 9:48 am
Roberto Koltun / El Nuevo Herald / TNS via Getty Images

This is totally heartbreaking. On Thursday, March 15th, a pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. A few days after this tragic accident, Florida Department of Transportation officials have discovered that an engineer who worked on the project had left a voicemail for an FDOT employee about cracking on the bridge just days before it crumbled. Unfortunately, no one heard the message until Friday, March 16th, the day after the accident.

The engineer who reported the cracks was an employee at FIGG Bridge Engineers, the firm that designed the bridge in collaboration with Munilla Construction Management. In the landline voicemail, the engineer said he observed some cracking on the “north end of the [bridge] span,” but wasn’t concerned about safety issues. The FDOT employee who received the message was out of the office and did not return until Friday, according to ABC News.

Update on bridge collapse in Florida: Transcript of voicemail left by engineer just days before accident

According to FDOT, the design-build team had sole responsibility to discover and address safety issues on the bridge and had reported no concerns during any part of the bridge’s construction.

In fact, representatives from both firms met with FDOT and FIU officials Thursday morning — just hours before the bridge collapse — to discuss the cracking. They concluded there were “no safety concerns and [that] the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge.”

Update on bridge collapse in Florida: Engineering firm issued a statement Friday evening

Update on bridge collapse in Florida: Six confirmed dead, more injured

Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and we hope that steps will be taken to prevent such tragedies in the future.