MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Pictures released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board show cracks in the Florida International University pedestrian bridge three days before it collapsed, killing six people.
The NTSB photos show cracks at least 3-and-a-half inches deep in the section that collapsed March 15. The cracks in the new report were larger than previously mentioned.
When the pictures were taken, traffic was flowing freely underneath the bridge on Southwest Eighth Street. Workers were adjusting tensioning rods on the bridge when it collapsed just days later.
The $14.2 million pedestrian bridge was supposed to open in 2019 as a safe way for students to cross the busy thoroughfare. The 174-foot span was assembled off-site by Munilla Construction Management and moved into place on March 10.
FIU touted it as the largest pedestrian bridge in the nation to ever use the innovative method. When the bridge collapsed, the tall tower that was designed to hold the cables attached to the platform had not been installed.
"We are cooperating and assisting authorities fully in an effort to understand what happened," an FIU spokeswoman said in a statement. "Florida International University is a party to the NTSB investigation. As a result, we are restricted, at this time, in what information we can share and discuss publicly about the project."