Florida announces plan to replace bridge that fell, killed 6

Florida officials on Wednesday announced plans to design and build a pedestrian bridge to replace one that collapsed and killed six people two years ago in Miami.

The Florida Department of Transportation said in a statement that it would manage and oversee all aspects of the project, and follow federal officials’ recommendations given last year.

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded last November that design flaws and a lack of oversight led to the collapse of the Florida International University bridge on March 15, 2018. The bridge was still under construction when its concrete span fell and smashed eight cars. Ten other people were also injured.

The board’s final report blamed both the design firm for miscalculating a load on a key section of the bridge, as well as the company hired to conduct an independent review for not catching the problems.

The NTSB report also said the company that was hired to independently review the design was mistakenly listed as qualified by the state transportation department, even though it wasn’t.

“FDOT has learned valuable lessons since the tragic events surrounding the FIU bridge collapse two years ago. The Department has worked closely with the NTSB and local partners to ensure proactive safety measures are included in the plans for this much-needed bridge,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault in the statement.

The design phase will begin in 2021, and the replacement bridge is expected to be built in about two years. The university had previously said the new bridge will memorialize the victims.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.