Another day and another pathetic showing for the United States – note that this was supposed to be a pioneering example of modern engineering.
A pedestrian bridge under construction collapsed Thursday, just days after crews had dropped an elevated 950-ton span in place in a project that was intended to give Florida International University students a safe route across the busy roadway.
The bridge gave way suddenly while the traffic light for motorists on Tamiami Trail was red and the concrete span flattened a row of at least eight stopped vehicles. Police on the scene said at least six people could be dead but the exact number of victims remained unconfirmed.
Motorists scrambled out of their cars to help. At least one woman, Katrina Collazo, escaped from a half-crushed car, pulled out unscathed by rescuers.
“Thank God … my daughter is alive,” said her mother, Ada Collazo, in Spanish, after rushing to the scene. “I thought my granddaughter was in the car, but she wasn’t. She’s in school.”
She was supposed to be back in her country of origin at this point, but that’s an issue for another day.
The bridge — in a catastrophic and sudden failure — crashed down across six lanes of heavily traveled Tamiami Trail. It was not immediately clear what caused the collapse of a structure that had been touted as an innovative “instant” bridge because of how quickly it could be constructed. Authorities stressed that it could take days or more to determine what went wrong. Several witnesses reported that workers were on the bridge, which was not expected to open to foot traffic until 2019, when it crumbled.
Designed as a cable-supported bridge, the $14.2 million project was a collaboration between MCM Construction, a prominent Miami-based contractor, and Figg Bridge Design, based in Tallahassee. Figg is responsible for the iconic Sunshine Skyway Bridge across Tampa Bay.
What are we supposed to say when any attempt to improve on our crumbling infrastructure ends in an absolutely humiliating catastrophe?
Are we supposed to act surprised?
Are we supposed to ask why something this touted failed in less than a week?
Can we ask if the labor force on this bridge was majority non-White?
Or can we inquire whether the Jew in charge of the University hosting the structure pulled some sort of Mafia stunt with the funding for materials?