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Topics: Construction
MIAMI BRIDGE DISASTER SHOULD SCARE YOU
In our Industry we rely on design professionals hired by others, and we attempt to fulfill the goals of the designer during our execution of the deliverable.
Unfortunately, some in our business rely on the Design Professional and do not question their capacity to make mistakes like everyone else. This is one fact always on my mind on every Project I execute. I have discovered major flaws, possibly catastrophic, on many Projects. I always hire a 3rd party (especially Structural) to review specific areas that concern me, and have redesigned and overcome the major flaws.
One concern that keeps me awake at nights- What happens on the Projects with weak or unskilled Project Managers that refuse to critique the Design Professional??? I think I have my answer......................
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There seems to have been a major risk oversight, or acceptance of it. Why have traffic passing underneath while it's being adjusted? I'm not an engineer, but my first observation as a non-engineer is: "Why not have a middle beam?"
Sante-
I am not an engineer, but i looked at the "Truss" design on the ENR site and saw that as a truss the first panel point web was pointed in the wrong direction, I believe this would double/ triple the design load in this floor panel---later while waiting for an appointment I watched the Dash Cam Video of the collapse....you guessed it- the failure occurred at the mis-designed web member.......this structure was not designed to be self supporting. In my opinion, anyone familiar with truss design would have noticed the flaw.
As PM's we have to be strong enough to stand up to the Designer......

M
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2 replies by Eric Simms and Sante Vergini
Mar 20, 2018 6:32 AM
Eric Simms
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"As PM's we have to be strong enough to stand up to the Designer......"
I wonder if the PM had enough construction knowledge to realize something was amiss. We sometimes say that a PM can work in any industry, but if the PM lacked engineering knowledge he or she wouldn't have recognized a risk someone with engineering knowledge would have immediately seen. PMs who lack industry knowledge must rely completely on vendors to do their jobs well, which seems far too risky for my liking.
Mar 20, 2018 6:37 AM
Sante Vergini
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Amazing! Thanks Mark.
Mar 20, 2018 6:17 AM
Replying to MARK A ANNUNZIATA, Sr
...
Sante-
I am not an engineer, but i looked at the "Truss" design on the ENR site and saw that as a truss the first panel point web was pointed in the wrong direction, I believe this would double/ triple the design load in this floor panel---later while waiting for an appointment I watched the Dash Cam Video of the collapse....you guessed it- the failure occurred at the mis-designed web member.......this structure was not designed to be self supporting. In my opinion, anyone familiar with truss design would have noticed the flaw.
As PM's we have to be strong enough to stand up to the Designer......

M
"As PM's we have to be strong enough to stand up to the Designer......"
I wonder if the PM had enough construction knowledge to realize something was amiss. We sometimes say that a PM can work in any industry, but if the PM lacked engineering knowledge he or she wouldn't have recognized a risk someone with engineering knowledge would have immediately seen. PMs who lack industry knowledge must rely completely on vendors to do their jobs well, which seems far too risky for my liking.
...
1 reply by Clive McIntosh
Mar 20, 2018 7:42 AM
Clive McIntosh
...
In relation to managing all risks, there should have been a peer review of designs, a third-party involvement, or even Health and Safety review of designs prior to construction, and if passed, then a post review as part of thee commissioning process. This would have dealt with the possible limited experience of the PM in this industry. Think risk, risk, risk and more importantly mitigation. I think in this case the risk management was poor
Mar 20, 2018 6:17 AM
Replying to MARK A ANNUNZIATA, Sr
...
Sante-
I am not an engineer, but i looked at the "Truss" design on the ENR site and saw that as a truss the first panel point web was pointed in the wrong direction, I believe this would double/ triple the design load in this floor panel---later while waiting for an appointment I watched the Dash Cam Video of the collapse....you guessed it- the failure occurred at the mis-designed web member.......this structure was not designed to be self supporting. In my opinion, anyone familiar with truss design would have noticed the flaw.
As PM's we have to be strong enough to stand up to the Designer......

M
Amazing! Thanks Mark.
Mar 20, 2018 6:32 AM
Replying to Eric Simms
...
"As PM's we have to be strong enough to stand up to the Designer......"
I wonder if the PM had enough construction knowledge to realize something was amiss. We sometimes say that a PM can work in any industry, but if the PM lacked engineering knowledge he or she wouldn't have recognized a risk someone with engineering knowledge would have immediately seen. PMs who lack industry knowledge must rely completely on vendors to do their jobs well, which seems far too risky for my liking.
In relation to managing all risks, there should have been a peer review of designs, a third-party involvement, or even Health and Safety review of designs prior to construction, and if passed, then a post review as part of thee commissioning process. This would have dealt with the possible limited experience of the PM in this industry. Think risk, risk, risk and more importantly mitigation. I think in this case the risk management was poor
Clive-
I am not a big believer of "peer" review. I have never received anything constructive when i have conducted or issued plans or schedules for 'PEER" review, In my opinion, the designers do not like to critique each other. A 3rd party constructability review works better.
On this occasion, Louis Berger was the peer review firm.....no comment- but I see they are already named in the first (of many) lawsuit..........
M
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1 reply by Clive McIntosh
Mar 20, 2018 10:49 AM
Clive McIntosh
...
Good point Mark and I agree. I think when you do peer review, you need to make sure there is a level of accountability (Why & What they are signing off, and the criticality of peer reviews).

My view is if "Peer Review" process don't work, you either get rid of it, or improve it to ensure greater accountability. Maybe the way forward is to always use a 3rd party, to reduce any possibility of conflict of interest, and greater accountabiltiy with the third party conducting the reviews.

-Clive
Mar 20, 2018 7:47 AM
Replying to MARK A ANNUNZIATA, Sr
...
Clive-
I am not a big believer of "peer" review. I have never received anything constructive when i have conducted or issued plans or schedules for 'PEER" review, In my opinion, the designers do not like to critique each other. A 3rd party constructability review works better.
On this occasion, Louis Berger was the peer review firm.....no comment- but I see they are already named in the first (of many) lawsuit..........
M
Good point Mark and I agree. I think when you do peer review, you need to make sure there is a level of accountability (Why & What they are signing off, and the criticality of peer reviews).

My view is if "Peer Review" process don't work, you either get rid of it, or improve it to ensure greater accountability. Maybe the way forward is to always use a 3rd party, to reduce any possibility of conflict of interest, and greater accountabiltiy with the third party conducting the reviews.

-Clive
It is a good point about review and my understanding is that most localities would require design drawings signed by a licensed engineer even for the construction framing. The bridge design itself would also require approval by licensed engineers. Both would need to be submitted to local building authority to obtain permits and adherence to codes.
Mr. MD-
Thanks for the thoughtful comment.
In fact, the plan page I examined in the ENR article was signed by the Engineer of Record- the same guy that found the crack in the concrete support and reported it as non-structural.............
Those are the types of things that give me nightmares!

M
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1 reply by Michael Delaney
Mar 21, 2018 8:49 AM
Michael Delaney
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I suspect there were gaps that created opportunity for failure. Likely the person who designed the bridge did not design the construction support and there may be gaps in the design requirements between the two parties. Further the contractor may not have been fully aware of required support requirements, such as designer assumed crane hoist at both ends to remain until adequate connections were made. Also there could have been fabrication errors. I suspect the analysis may also show a series of small errors by different parties that added up to a major failure
Mar 20, 2018 11:26 PM
Replying to MARK A ANNUNZIATA, Sr
...
Mr. MD-
Thanks for the thoughtful comment.
In fact, the plan page I examined in the ENR article was signed by the Engineer of Record- the same guy that found the crack in the concrete support and reported it as non-structural.............
Those are the types of things that give me nightmares!

M
I suspect there were gaps that created opportunity for failure. Likely the person who designed the bridge did not design the construction support and there may be gaps in the design requirements between the two parties. Further the contractor may not have been fully aware of required support requirements, such as designer assumed crane hoist at both ends to remain until adequate connections were made. Also there could have been fabrication errors. I suspect the analysis may also show a series of small errors by different parties that added up to a major failure

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