BOSTON, MA -- The engineering company that co-designed a recently installed footbridge in Miami, Fla that collapsed Thursday, also worked on the Zakim Bridge in Boston.
FIGG Engineering Group co-designed the failed structure at Florida International University FIGG also co-designed the famed Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge in Boston, which was dedicated in 2002.
That collapsed bridge connecting the campus of Florida International University to Sweetwater, Fla has left six confirmed dead and nine people being treated at local hospitals with multiple injuries. Officials say there could be more fatalities as they switch from rescue to a recovery operation.
The company would not comment on their involvement with either bridge as of Thursday afternoon, but a recently deleted page on their website lists Boston's "crown jewel" as one of the firms many projects.
"FIGG in association with a firm located in Boston completed the design of this unique structure that has twin planes of stay cables in the 745’ main span and a single plane of stays in the back spans," they wrote about the Zakim.
"Recognized as the widest cable stayed bridge in the world at 183’, the bridge carries ten lanes of traffic. The bridge is asymmetrical in both directions and is a hybrid steel and concrete design that has been honored with 15 awards, including the American Society of Civil Engineers 2004 OPAL Award."
FIGG released an official statement about the Florida bridge collapse.
“We are stunned by today’s tragic collapse of a pedestrian bridge that was under construction over Southwest Eighth Street in Miami. Our deepest sympathies are with all those affected by this accident. We will fully cooperate with every appropriate authority in reviewing what happened and why. In our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before. Our entire team mourns the loss of life and injuries associated with this devastating tragedy, and our prayers go out to all involved.”
Locally in Boston, MassDOT issued a statement about the integrity of the Zakim Bridge and all other bridges across the Commonwealth
"We have a robust inspection program for the Zakim Bridge and are fully confident in the safety of the Zakim Bridge and all Commonwealth of Massachusetts bridges, as we follow federal standards for regular inspections. While the cause of the Miami pedestrian bridge collapse is unknown, the design of this pedestrian bridge is not similar to the design of the Zakim Bridge and is unique to the project site characteristics at its location in Miami."
Witnesses to the deadly FIU bridge collapse say there were no signs anything was wrong until it was too late. One witness says the collapse happened all of a sudden from the bridge's left to the middle.
Officials says, no cause for the collapse has been announced and Florida Senator Bill Nelson says the NTSB is leading the investigation.