MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. Accelerated bridge construction is a new construction technique that was employed in the construction of the pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Miami near Florida International University. Could this new construction method put other people and other cities at risk? When it comes to construction, there are a lot of risks that can be involved, considering workers operate on high levels and operate machinery. With this being said, it comes as no surprise that devices such as scaffolding security could be put in place on site, to protect the health and safety of residents and staff. It is always best to be safe than sorry, especially in an industry like this.
According to Popular Science, accelerated bridge construction or ABC, is a construction technique designed to make it possible to construct a bridge in a reduced amount of time. The construction process essentially uses pre-fabricated Tradefix Direct materials which are then assembled on site. According to Popular Science, construction projects can be assembled very quickly, in some cases, in just hours. In fact, since the 1980’s thousands of bridges have been constructed using this method. In recent years, construction methods have adapted thanks to a ewp ticket and new materials. However, the process has never been sped up like today.
Proponents of the rapid construction method claim that it can prevent car accidents while others argue that simply making sure that the construction is kept on track by using a construction management software will mean that the project is completed fast enough that there is no need for ABC. When bridges take longer to construct, construction work zones need to be in place for longer periods of time, which can lead to dangerous road conditions. Construction crashes occur once every 5 minutes. With regular bridge construction, the concrete is poured on site. This can mean that a project can take years. With ABC, the concrete is poured off site. Proponents claim this can increase quality control.
Yet, the bridge in Florida was undergoing tensioning work when it collapsed. It isn’t clear if this caused the collapse, but many are concerned that traffic wasn’t stopped in the area when the tensioning was taking place. In addition to this, the lead engineer on the bridge also noticed cracks in the concrete. It isn’t clear whether these cracks indicated problems in the structure, or if the collapse was due to something else entirely. According to Scientific American, two key structures in the bridge had not yet been put in place when the bridge collapsed. Pipe supports and a central pylon were not yet in place, yet cars were permitted to drive under the bridge. Other reports indicate that the bridge may have been undergoing stress testing when it collapsed.
Some have asked why the road under the bridge wasn’t closed. This isn’t clear, either, but traffic considerations and accident risk may have been factored into how traffic was directed around and under the bridge.
At the end of the day, the public places immense trust in public construction projects. We drive over and under bridges every day. We trust that construction workers and firms will build structures that won’t fall. When they do fall, it is a tragedy that affects us all.
Lurking beneath the tragic story of the bridge failure, is another far more common tale—one about the injuries that occur in construction zones every day. Workers are at risk, but so are drivers. If you or a loved one was hurt in a construction accident in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino is here to help. Our personal injury lawyers work with victims and families who have been hurt in car accidents or pedestrian accidents around construction zones or on highways. Visit our firm at https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more about how we can help.
The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino, LLC
3109 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: (612) 236-1320