Miami-Dade County

Rusting beam blamed for concrete falling from Metromover station. County says system is safe.

A file photo of a Metromover car leaving the Third Street Station in Miami.
A file photo of a Metromover car leaving the Third Street Station in Miami. MIAMI HERALD 2011 FILE PHOTO

The concrete that rained down from a Miami Metromover station this week fell off a rusting beam, but the deterioration did not endanger the overall structure, Miami-Dade’s transit agency said Thursday.

Nobody was hurt during the Wednesday evening incident at the Fifth Street Metromover depot off Brickell Avenue, but alarmed passersby posted photos showing the potential danger. Photos showed a sidewalk splattered with brick-sized concrete chunks at the entrance of the county-run station, steps from a bench.

Metromover cars continued serving Fifth Street after the concrete fell Wednesday evening, but workers closed down part of the station. Regular operations resumed Thursday. County inspectors checked the rest of the Metromover system for similar issues and fixed some issues, according to a statement by the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works.

The agency said the rust became visible only after the concrete fell, so it wasn’t picked up during the facility’s last inspection.

Staff “deemed the system structurally sound for regular Metromover service. The concrete pieces that fell came from areas adjacent to the steel beam that is experiencing localized rusting; however, these concrete pieces are not structural and are non-essential for the support of Metromover operation,” read the statement released Thursday evening. “All locations with similar structural details have been inspected and corrective measures are being implemented.”

Transit is cutting costs as it faces a drop in revenues tied to both declining ridership and lower collections of a half-percent sales tax dedicated to transportation. Miami-Dade is in the process of dropping bus stops and reducing service on Metrorail to close budget gaps, but no cuts have been announced for the free Metromover system.

Bruno Barreiro, the county commissioner whose district includes Brickell, said his office has not received answers from transit on what caused the concrete failure. “It was good nobody got hurt — thank God,” said Barreiro, a Republican running for Congress. “It definitely raises concerns about what’s going on with maintenance.”