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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Dr. Modesto Maidique is a big part of Florida International University and its history.
Maidique, for whom the FIU main campus is named after, isn’t rushing to place blame on last week’s bridge collapse. But like many is searching for answers as to why tests were being done in the middle of the day.
“Rarely do engineering systems fail just because of one thing. They’re generally – there are backups, there are redundancies,” he said.
The university’s former president, who studied engineering at MIT, thinks this could’ve been prevented.
“People I’ve talked to, civil engineers who really know about this kind of work, would say you do it at 2 o’clock in the morning. You stop traffic. You reroute traffic through the university just in case,” Maidique said.
Should there have been support beams until the project was complete?
“I would’ve put them in,” he said.
Munilla Construction Management, the company building the bridge, has strong connections to FIU and local government officials.
But Maidique – who’s now with the college of business – doesn’t think they were shown preferential treatment while bidding on the project.
The selection process included the school, the City of Sweetwater and the Florida Department of Transportation.
“Time will tell but to me the Munilla’s are very responsible and respected people and the selection process went through a very transparent, open, and well managed process,” Maidique said.
As the NTSB and other groups investigate the collapse, Maidique knows the college of engineering is going to catch some blame.
“It’s very unfair and premature to be putting the blame on them but I do think if this is bad for the university this is even worse for the Munilla family,” he said.
All of the companies involved, including the Munilla’s, are promising to cooperate fully with the investigation.