MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The investigation into the collapse of the new Florida International University pedestrian bridge, and the removal of those killed and the debris, will stretch into the coming weeks.
During that time, SW 8th Street will remain closed from 107th Avenue to 117th Avenue until further notice.
Also, drivers taking the eastbound SW 8th Street exit from the Turnpike will be detoured. They can also take the NW 12th Street exit or the SW 40th Street as alternates.
While FIU reopened Friday, its north entrance was closed as were several parking lots (PG4, PG5, and PG6).
The 950-ton bridge, on SW 8th near 109th Avenue, collapsed just after 2 p.m. on Thursday, crushing several vehicles as it came down.
Friday morning, Miami-Dade police confirmed that six people died in the collapse, five on the scene and one person who was taken to the hospital. Nine others were injured.
Construction of the bridge began in the spring of 2017 and was expected to be completed in early 2019.
The bridge was built next to SW 8th Street and last Saturday was lowered into place.
Carlos Deverona, a local Sweetwater resident, ditched his car a while ago for two wheels to manage the traffic. It’s something he was already used to but it’s now a whole lot worse.
“This was under construction to begin with so traffic was a mess before all this now this is just going to add to it,” he said.
“I live a mile from here, just the other side of the Turnpike, and one of the alternate routes is Flagler and all the traffic will now cut in front of my house, but that’s the least of my worries. The people that died in that thing are the forefront there’s nothing else I can think about,” he added.
The bridge was meant to be part of a larger transportation initiative to create a safer path for students and local residents. It was constructed using an innovative approach to bridge construction – a technique meant to reduce potential risks to workers, commuters, and pedestrians and prevented traffic tie-ups in the area.
Funding for the $14.2 million bridge, connecting plazas and walkways is part of a $19.4 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Other funding agencies include the Federal Highway Administration, Florida Department of Transportation Local Agency Program, FIU and the City of Sweetwater.