Florida International Bridge Collapse - World Event

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Peter Dow, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. Peter Dow Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    189
    Wikipedia - Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapse

    There is already a topic started in the Architecture and Engineering forum about this, but my intention here is to start a topic with a wider discussion scope - to include the social science aspects - public safety, management, legal and political.

    The FIU bridge collapse story was reported by the BBC in Britain and world-wide and that's how the story came to my attention. FIU claims to be an "International" university - an invitation (or at least an excuse) for discussion of FIU's affairs on the world wide web, maybe?

    Public Safety

    A pedestrian underpass would have been safer and cheaper than a bridge, right? So public safety and cost was not the top priority. Is that acceptable?

    Management

    The bridge project was mismanaged to the point of killing people. Are there wider problems which this tragedy highlights - problems with mismanagement of this university, other universities, civil engineering management at this site or elsewhere?

    Legal

    Florida Involuntary Manslaughter Laws
    Overview of Florida Involuntary Manslaughter Laws

    When a homicide, the killing of a human being, does not meet the legal definition of murder, Florida state laws allow a prosecutor to consider a manslaughter charge. The state establishes two types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. While voluntary manslaughter describes an intentional act performed during a provocation or heat of passion, involuntary manslaughter does not require intent to kill or even intent to perform that act resulting in the victim's death.

    To establish involuntary manslaughter, the prosecutor must show that the defendant acted with "culpable negligence." Florida statutes define culpable negligence as a disregard for human life while engaging in wanton or reckless behavior. The state may be able to prove involuntary manslaughter by showing the defendant's recklessness or lack of care when handling a dangerous instrument or weapon, or while engaging in a range of other activities that could lead to death if performed recklessly.

    Who are the individuals responsible for the loss of life and are they criminally culpable with regard to the decisions they made negligently or recklessly that disregarded the dangers to human life and contributed to the deaths?

    Civil liability. Who should pay compensation and how much?

    Political

    Who is to blame politically, Obama or Trump or neither? Will anyone be held politically accountable for these deaths?

    Science

    How should the scientist cross the road?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. hardalee Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    382
    Construction accidents rarely lead to criminal charges in Florida even the event of deaths. Someone would really have to have been purposely negligent to cause criminal charges to happen.

    It is clear that more oversite of the process of design and construction is needed to protect the public, specially in structures that lack redundancy.

    Lessons will be learned and hopefully applied.

    Meanwhile the news outlets will “make news”as they go along with no real understaing of what happened.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Peter Dow Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    189

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    The pedestrian bridge was being built next to a 4-way intersection or crossroads, with a pedestrian crossing, where the traffic has to stop for the lights anyway.

    It seems that the cost of a pedestrian bridge (or pedestrian underpass) could not be justified.

    The existing pedestrian crossing could be made safer by installing
    • good quality cameras to video anyone jumping the lights or speeding, take their number plates and fine them
    • good quality lighting so that the cameras work beautifully even at night
    • the pedestrian crossing may even turn a profit
    It seems that the pedestrian bridge plan was not really for functional reasons but was wanted by the Florida International University for advertising purposes.

    I suppose if they had known what they were doing and built a safe bridge safely that would have been OK.

    Possibly few would have used it because it would still have been easier to use the crossing at the traffic lights but hey, it wouldn't be the first architectural folly.

    But they didn't know what they were doing and their recklessness got innocents killed and in my opinion that is a crime.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    14,513
    Who is "they?"
     
  8. Peter Dow Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    189
    "They" were named, individually in this FIU News story - "First-of-its-kind pedestrian bridge “swings” into place" and in the winning contractors team proposal to the FIU 173 page pdf to design and to build the bridge.

    "They" are -

    Mark B. Rosenberg, FIU President
    Kenneth Jessell, FIU Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
    Atorod Azizinamini - Chair of FIU’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Department and director of FIU’s Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Project contractor organisation chart.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Project contractor company presidents
    Linda Figg, FIGG President
    Jorge Munilla, MCM President

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Project contractor managers
    Dwight Dempsey, FIGG, Project Design Manager
    Rodrigo Isaza, MCM, Project Construction Manager
    Eddie Martinez, MCM, Project Safety Manager

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    National Society of Professional Engineers
    W. Denny Pate, FIGG, Lead Technical Designer and Engineer of Record
    Robert Murphy, MCM, Project Director
    Dwight Dempsey, FIGG, Project Design Manager
    Kenneth Heil, FIGG, Design Quality Manager
    Manuel Feliciano, FIGG, Bridge Engineer
    Kristian Navarro, MCM, Project Engineer

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    US Army Corps of Engineers
    Eddie Martinez, MCM, Project Safety Manager
    Kristian Navarro, MCM, Project Engineer
    Carlos Hernandez, MCM, Quality Control Manager

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Elected Representatives of the People
    Mario Diaz-Balart, U.S. Representative and Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.
    Orlando Lopez, Mayor of the City of Sweetwater

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    "They" ought to include those who are politically responsible, for providing "them" with political and financial support.

    Anthony Foxx, Obama's Transport Secretary who declared and federally funded -
    Atorod Azizinamini - Chair of FIU’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Department and director of FIU’s Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center
    as a "Champion of Change in Transportation" as reported in this US Department of Transportation webpage -
    US Department of Transport - 2015 Champions of Change in Transportation

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    "They" should include State and Federal Authorities for their part in all this.

    Rick Scott, Governor of Florida
    Politic0 - Documents: Scott administration had long-running role in collapsed FIU bridge
    Donald Trump, President of the United States

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    14,513
    So taking all those names that's 41 people, from engineers to the president of the US.

    Best be careful casting such a large net, lest you yourself someday find yourself caught in a similar one.
     
  10. Peter Dow Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    189
    I have only singled out 19 names and included mug-shots of them.

    1. Mark B. Rosenberg, FIU President
    2. Kenneth Jessell, FIU Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
    3. Atorod Azizinamini - Chair of FIU’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Department and director of FIU’s Accelerated Bridge Construction University
    4. Linda Figg, FIGG President
    5. Jorge Munilla, MCM President
    6. Dwight Dempsey, FIGG, Project Design Manager
    7. Rodrigo Isaza, MCM, Project Construction Manager
    8. Eddie Martinez, MCM, Project Safety Manager
    9. W. Denny Pate, FIGG, Lead Technical Designer and Engineer of Record
    10. Robert Murphy, MCM, Project Director
    11. Kenneth Heil, FIGG, Design Quality Manager
    12. Manuel Feliciano, FIGG, Bridge Engineer
    13. Kristian Navarro, MCM, Project Engineer
    14. Carlos Hernandez, MCM, Quality Control Manager
    15. Mario Diaz-Balart, U.S. Representative and Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.
    16. Orlando Lopez, Mayor of the City of Sweetwater
    17. Anthony Foxx, Obama's Transport Secretary
    18. Rick Scott, Governor of Florida
    19. Donald Trump, President of the United States

    Some of those whose names appeared in the Key Personnel Organisation Chart I didn't single out, because they were too small fry or original design-build manager left MCM and the project in 2015.
    Also 4 of the 19 were named twice, under different categories.

    OK thanks. I will be careful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    27,366
    The only obviously irresponsible aspect currently visible was allowing traffic under the bridge during installation. That's imprudent even with well-established and standard technology, and this was new and unfamiliar engineering.

    Otherwise, it's just somebody making a mistake or miscommunicating - bridge building is dangerous work, mistakes are often fatal.
     
    billvon and RainbowSingularity like this.
  12. Peter Dow Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    189
    Those proposing the project and the "accelerated bridge construction" method in general misled the authorities precisely by deflecting from the truth that, as you correctly say, "bridge building is dangerous work, mistakes are often fatal" to make reckless claims to the authorities that the bridge could be constructed safely with minimal interruption time to the traffic flow.

    The project supporters purposefully or negligently mislead the authorities because not to do so - instead, to exercise prudent and legal health and safety procedures - by closing the road during installation until such time as the bridge was finished and legally commissioned as "safe" - would not support the project in the sense that the authorities would likely have refused permission for the project entirely - because it was not worth it for the authorities to close the road for an extended period of time simply in order to construct a pedestrian crossing that was not needed by the people for road-crossing purposes.

    Therefore the responsibility not to risk the public's lives applies to all those named who had a duty of care to the public and who all could have done something - and some could have a lot more than they did - to raise the alarm about the reckless intention to build over flowing traffic.
     
  13. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,386
    would be keen to see the engineers comments about the structural integrity while tightening the main stays and the relative danger involved...

    it does seem a little like giving a child a loaded hand gun to play with.
     
  14. Peter Dow Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    189
    There have been 42 (and counting) posts in the sister thread to this one in the Architecture and Engineering forum, for example, my post #39, complete with "THE SMOKING GUN" logo, quoted here.
    I'm not the OP of the sister thread (hardalee is) but it seems sensible to organise engineering science type posts in that thread and social science type posts in this thread.
     

Share This Page