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Designer of Collapsed Bridge Also Worked On Skyway, Selmon

Mar 16, 2018

The same company that designed a pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Miami also designed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and the elevated portion of the Selmon Expressway in Tampa.

On its website, the Tallahassee-based company displays pictures of the completed Skyway and Selmon projects.

In a statement, FIGG officials said none of the more than 230 bridges the company designed over the past three decades has had similar problems.

But while the company was building the Selmon Expressway in 2004, one of the concrete pillars collapsed, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority sued and the company eventually settled.

The Virginia Pilot reports that FIGG was also fined in 2012 after several workers were injured when a bridge they were building in Virginia fell apart.

FIGG collaborated on the project with MCM Construction, a Miami-based contractor.

MCM was accused of substandard work in a lawsuit filed this month by a worker injured when a makeshift bridge MCM built at Fort Lauderdale International Airport collapsed under his weight. Another dispute resulted in a $143,000 judgment against MCM over an "arguable collapse" at a Miami-Dade bridge project.

A review of OSHA records, meanwhile, shows MCM has been fined for 11 safety violations in the past five years totaling more than $50,000 after complaints involving its Florida work sites.

Both companies expressed condolences for the victims and promised cooperation with investigators.

The $14.2 million pedestrian bridge was supposed to open in 2019 as a safe way to cross the busy six-lane road between the university campus and the community of Sweetwater, where many students live.

An accelerated construction method was supposed to reduce risks to workers and pedestrians and minimize traffic disruption, the university said.

The 950-ton concrete span collapsed over traffic, killing at least six people and injuring 10 others.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.