The FIU bridge collapse was no accident; it was criminal negligence and someone should go to prison. The collapsed span is the longer of two spans comprising the suspension bridge. You can’t have a suspension bridge without the suspending component. The long span structure is not designed to support itself.
This is “showboating.” Someone was trying to show how fast they could build a bridge, and the long span was installed out of sequence.
The proper sequence would be to construct the short span in place, construct or erect the spire, feed the tendons through the spire, then attach them to the short span. Then, and only then, bring the long span, install it, attach the tendons and then remove the support vehicles.
I have no connection to this project, but just from looking at photos and doing a little research, I see a huge tragedy that should not have escaped the control of engineers, supervisors and officials.
Where was the Miami-Dade building department? How could they allow this to happen?
Mario Capmany, Hialeah
Whose genius idea was it to conduct a stress test on an unfinished bridge while people are driving cars under it?
Armando del Valle, Miami Lakes
I sincerely hope that after the horrific March 15 tragedy at FIU, the county will take more seriously the gross negligence of chronically irresponsible, faulty developers, and the mistake in knowingly hiring such companies.
The lawsuit filed by the Miami Heat against Arquitectonica for construction flaws at the American Airlines Arena was in the Miami Herald at the same time the county selected the architecture firm for the Grove Playhouse project.
The county alleged that the old Playhouse is dangerous, built with beach sand and on the verge of collapse. It was all proven untrue by recent reports from structural engineers.
Yet these same people couldn’t care less about the terribly flawed buildings constructed by Arquitectonica that resulted open lawsuits, now numbering about 20.
The Grove Playhouse is our historical site and we will hold accountable any public official who misuses public money to demolish our history with one of the worst architecture firms.
Max Pearl, Pinecrest
In 1982, the Cline Avenue bridge collapsed in East Chicago, Indiana, killing 12 construction workers.
A new, cheaper/better construction process was being used: Less steel and more concrete and cables, even though there were three large steel mills within a three-mile radius, and the industry was in the toilet.
We do not always learn from our mistakes when it comes to cheaper/better.
Gary Ison, Hobart, IN
There are bridges in America and elsewhere in the world that are hundreds of years old and still function and are safe. So why did a brand new structure, less than a week old, that cost more than $14 million, fail?
Incompetence or corruption, likely both, were contributing factors. It could have been a rigged bidding process; South Florida is particularly prone to corruption.
A thorough inquest must be started, and those who are incompetent or involved in payoffs should be tried for murder.
Richard J Feinstein, Coral Gables
In a speech to fellow Florida legislators, Rep. Elizabeth Porter cried out, “Do we allow children to tell us that we should pass laws that” restrict access to assault rifles such as used in the slaughter of the innocents at Douglas High School?
Why should children not be allowed to advocate for laws restricting unfettered access to weapons engineered for the sole purpose of killing human beings?
Why does Porter condone laws that make it easier for a troubled teenager to purchase an AR-15 than obtain a Florida driver’s license? Why does she offer no hope (but perhaps thoughts and prayers) to the surviving children who witnessed this slaughter; no solace to the families and friends who lost loved ones; no sense of safety and security to the millions of parents who send their children each workday to schools?
The selfishness and unfounded fears of some lawmakers disgrace the memory of the 17 children and educators needlessly massacred in Parkland. Is now not the time to legislate these God-awful weapons out of existence lest — sooner rather than later — another mass murder occurs?
John H. Kaicher, Springfield, MO
In the March 15 Herald, there is a letter by Mark Minervino, “Points of view,” in which he reminds us that our gun laws “are designed to keep us safe from a tyrannical government. A militia can’t fight with handguns a tyrannical government possessing automatic weapons.”
Does Minervino really think that we should accept laws which afford members of a militia the means to use automatic weapons for target practice on students, teachers, children, and other citizens who are not a part of this tyrannical government which he so fears?
Edward Mast, Miami
As a freshman in high school I learned, thanks to Adam Smith and his “The Wealth of Nations,” that mercantilism hurts economies while free trade lifts everyone.
Now President Donald Trump slaps tariffs on steel and aluminum to save 20,000 jobs, but will likely cause the loss of 200,000 jobs in related industries. Our esteemed president, with his education in “the best schools,” must have skipped that Social Studies class.
His decision will cause trade wars. He’s wrong. So add this decision to his long list of bad ones. I hope Larry Kudlow can teach him basic economics!
Norman W. Schwartz, Miami
Register to vote
Personalities, advertising, marketing, and money all contribute to winning political campaigns.
The heartfelt pleas of America’s youth a few days ago seem, as is often the case, to fall on deaf ears clogged by NRA dollars. But here’s part of the ultimate truth in our democracy: with few exceptions, votes win elections.
If you’re 18, register to vote. Take it as a sacred obligation to exercise that precious right. If elected officials won’t listen to your simple desire to be safe, find someone who will and vote for her or him.
Bruce Shpiner, Miami
On the inside of the fly of my Robert Graham pants are sewn the words: “Knowledge, Wisdom, Truth.”
Considering how often he is busy with his fly, I would hope Donald Trump would purchase a pair of these trousers, to remind him of his immense need for such words!
Marshall Sober, Bay Harbor Islands