Florida Bridge Collapsing: DHS Engineering Students Reaction

Lizzy Martinez, Co-Business Manager

On Thursday, March 15, the FIU Sweetwater pedestrian bridge newly built in front of the Florida International University in Miami, Florida collapsed, killing 6 people. The police and fire department have been able to recover 5 victims so far. The bridge was designed by the FIGG Bridge Engineers with a new method, accelerated bridge construction,  that would allow for bridges to be built at a quicker pace. The bridge was placed on Saturday, March 10 and was set to be completely finished later in the year.


Simon Choo,11, a honors engineering physics students spoke about his reaction to the news.


“Those who built it and ignored the warning of the crack are at fault. I think as a society we have become lazy and ignore small details,” Choo said. “[The] main thing is that the inspector clearly didn’t think a crack could do damage and I think we learn to not postomone inspection of any warning signs.”


The bridge was a 170-foot walkway for pedestrians, and it was part of a 300- foot bridge project set to finish next year.


Ana Barcenas,12, a AP Physics student, spoke about the safety of the bridge prior to the recognition of the crack.


“The bridge shouldn’t have been cleared if it wasn’t fully finished because it put the safety of others in danger,” Barcenas said. “New methods can be proven to be better, but there will always be flaws when perfecting it as we saw here.”

Classes are now being resumed after spring break, but the streets of the area around the Florida International University have yet to be complete opened.  The university hosted a blood drive on March 20 in efforts for the victims and had a vigil on March 21 for those who passed away.


German Espinoza,12, plans in majoring in aerospace engineering and physics at MIT, and spoke about his initial reaction to the bridge.


“I heard about it two days after it had occurred and I thought ‘wow, how could they let this happen,’ especially because engineers are suppose to be on top of details,” Espinoza said. “I think as an aspiring engineer my work can affect many people with one small flaw.”


The victims of the bridge collapsing are Oswaldo Gonzalez, Alberto Arias, Navaro Brown, Ronaldo Fraga Hernandez, Alexa Duran, and Brandon Brownfield.


Cleanup will continue during the rest of March and an investigation has begun since the day of the collapse to secure this from happening again. Alongside, bridges that have been built with the new method and/or by the FIGG Bridge Engineers are being expected due to the Florida incident.