The Collapsing Of The FIU Bridge


Priscila Chavez, Reporter

The bridge that was supposed to keep Florida International University students and other pedestrians safe has now caused the opposite thing to happen. On Thursday, March 15, one of the most deadliest collapses in U.S. history occurred in Miami, Florida.

     “I think it is so unbelievable that something like that could happen so sudden, hopefully there will be more safety inspections and precautions taken following this tragedy,” said Cynthia Oyervides (‘18).

     Six people were found dead and many others were injured in the collapse of the FIU bridge. The bridge was built originally to keep FIU students safe from crossing the busy street of Southwest eighth street, where a student from the University got injured while hit by one of the vehicles passing, back in August. The bridge was originally meant to connect the campus site with a neighborhood that was home to 4,000 of the students enrolled at FIU.

     The technology used to build the bridge was Accelerated Bridge Construction. Which was a different method of building bridges unlike traditional methods. The method was used rather to build the bridge quicker but not to be done sloppily nor as good.

     Just before the bridge was about to collapse engineers and crew workers had discussed the bridge’s sturdiness and delivered a technical presentation regarding a crack found on the bridge just a few hours before falling. The FIGG engineers who designed the bridge hypothesized that there were no concerns for the bridge involving the crack. But just only a few hours later it had fallen down killing a total of six people and injury many who had no idea what was coming.

     Alexa Duran, 18, was a Florida International student was in a gray Toyota 4Runner that was removed from underneath debris. Duran had been driving under the bridge when it came falling down. A friend that was with Duran traveling at the time tried to pull Duran out but the attempt was unsuccessful. She graduated from Archbishop High school in Southwest Ranches, Florida which was announced on facebook.

     Brandon Brownfield also died from the bridge collapse, confirmed by his wife Chelsea Brownfield. Brownfield worked at Maxim Crane and was a crane technician but wasn’t working on the bridge. Brandon and Chelsea were married for four years and had three daughters. Chelsea said, “Please keep us in your prayers, as I now have to find the words and the answers to tell my girls that their daddy is not coming home.”

     Navarro Brown. 37 was working on site at the bridge for Structural Technologies VSL, a company that specializes in bridge cable tension and construction systems. After the bridge collapsed Brown was taken to a hospital only to find out he died there shortly, police confirmed.

     The next victim was inside a gold Jeep Cherokee that was removed from the debris. He was identified as Rolando Fraga Hernandez.

     Lastly, authorities said that the next two victims were also removed from the remains of the bridge inside a white Chevy truck. Oswald Gonzalez, 57 and Alberto Arias, 53 were found together and were identified by Miami Dade Police department.

     “This could have had been prevented and it’s scary to think that while driving a huge bridge falls right on top of you and instantly kills you and how it impacts you. All the victims were probably driving safe and it happens to happen to people who weren’t doing anything wrong,” said Mariana Cardoso (‘19).