The company that designed a pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Florida is the same company that designed the new Interstate 35W bridge in Minnesota, after the old span collapsed more than 10 years ago.
The engineering company is FIGG Bridge Group. Its new pedestrian bridge in Miami was hailed as a technological innovation before it collapsed Thursday, killing several people.
Kevin Gutknecht, communications director for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, described his agency’s work with FIGG in a statement.
Gutknecht said MnDOT has a rigorous inspection program where all bridges are inspected at least once every two years, and bridges deemed “structurally deficient” are inspected annually.
“All of the bridges FIGG has designed were inspected either last year or this year,” he said. “Two of them, Hwy 43 in Winona and I-90 in La Crescent, are new structures (opened within the last two years.) We have had no issues with any of the structures FIGG has worked on.”
FIGG said in a statement that it's stunned by the collapse. The cause is under investigation, but authorities said Friday that cables were being tightened when it collapsed.
In 2007, the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, killing 13 people and injuring 145. After that tragedy, FIGG was selected to design the replacement bridge that is currently in use.
FIGG also designed the Wabasha Freedom Bridge in St. Paul.