Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hurricane Season and FIU Pedestrian Bridge - ABC Construction during Hurricane Season. Hurricane Irma. Just Wondering...

Damage at FIU shown below.

On a rainy cold night in Raleigh during a thunderstorm that reminds me more of a Miami Monsoon than Raleigh rain I'm thinking on the Hurricane Season and the construction of the FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse. The possibility of snow flakes falling tomorrow morning here keeps taking a back seat  in my mind as I wonder on how far into actual construction they were in September of 2017 when Hurricane Irma moved towards the Miami area. Yes, Irma made landfall in the Lower to Middle Keys, however the Miami area was slammed with torrential rain, wind and debris flying in the wind.  I wonder just how far along they had gotten when Irma slammed into Miami. I'll wonder on the possibility of snow flakes tomorrow morning if and when I see them. I'm wondering tonight on what things might have gone unseen during the early stages of the construction of the FIU Pedestrian Bridge.

I know most large construction sites do not take the materials away and store them safely somewhere else. I watched the slow construction of the Overseas Highway new bridge and noted how even when it seemed a storm was nearing the area the construction material stayed where it was and to be honest they got lucky and no strong storm tangled with that project.

But this project began in the months before Hurricane Irma and a very busy, wet hurricane season. I'm sure the site was inspected but when and how long did it take to inspect the materials? No one was working for a good week in many places as debris had to be picked up, roads cleaned and electricity restored. Miami wasn't exactly working normally during that time.

So I keep thinking about the construction of the bridge and how far along they were when Irma slammed into the Miami area.

Note the picture below taken from Google. As you travel down Tamiami Trail you can see most of the ABC Bridge Project behind tarp and signs that show it as a "construction site" ...

FIU was busy also with flooding at the Biscayne Bay Campus. They were wonderful with updates on how things were progressing towards normal but nothing really was normal in September of 2017. Even Tamiami Trail Campus far from Biscayne Bay had flooding problems as well as debris that was blown by the storm's winds every which way as the song goes. Irma was not fast moving Andrew with it's precise buzz saw shape where damage was kept to a small area where the wicked eye wall sliced Miami Dade County into two parts; the part with the damage and the part where there was total destruction. Irma lumbered along after a wet period and the damage path for Irma stretched from Cuba to the Florida Keys all the way North to Jacksonville that had historic flooding.

Way before Irma made landfall...
Miami was getting copious amounts of rain.
Bands lashed Miami ...
...when it was on the coast of Cuba.

Then Irma obliterated the State of Florida.

How in any way did the hurricane impact the construction site I wonder. How far along were they? The picture above taken by Google in August the month before shows the Accelerated Bridge Construction had begun. In late October another system soaked the Miami area adding insult to injury known as Tropical Storm Phillipe. 

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I tell myself there were inspections and they took into account what might happen if the project sat for days, maybe longer waiting for inspections and for workers to be able to get back to work with everything else that was going on during a State of Emergency. Do we know for sure? What one variable could have impacted the project that did not impact other similar projects constructed the same way? I wonder. As I look at that picture above and see it how it looked in August I wonder how it looked after the hurricane. And, when I look at the picture my son took below while stopped at the traffic light admiring the beauty of the construction I'm grateful he wasn't at the wrong place at the wrong time. It was just a balmy, beautiful Miami evening and he was at the right place to admire the beauty of a bridge that would we thought would take FIU another step into the future. 

FIGG designs beautiful bridges that have been built everywhere ... far beyond the reaches of Florida politics. They do beautiful work and the MCM construction company has been around for a long time. Accidents happen that's why they are called accidents. But sometimes there's one or two variables that are part of the equation and I'm wondering tonight just how far along they were in construction of any part of the bridge when Hurricane Irma began to douse Miami with record rain, flooding and destructive winds.

The picture below my son took.
A night or two before it collapsed.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter.

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