Several DMV bridges used same technology as collapsed Florida pedestrian bridge

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District Department of Transportation says four bridges were built using the same technology used to build the Florida International University pedestrian walkway that collapsed on Thursday.

The bridge, still under construction to enhance safety and keep pedestrians safe from traffic, killed six people, according to Miami authorities.

In a statement, the university stated that they used Accelerated Bridge Construction technology to build the bridge.

Unlike traditional methods of construction, it streamlines the building process so that bridge projects can be completed quicker and more cost effectively.

DDOT Chief Engineer, Dawit Muluneh, says they also used the ABC technology to build four bridges for traffic, not pedestrians. This includes the 16th street bridge in Northwest D.C., the 27th street bridge in Northwest D.C. over Broad Ranch Stream, the Eastern Avenue bridge over I-295, and the New York Avenue bridge.

He says safety and time are the main benefits.

"All it means is a certain part of the bridge is constructed off-site, away from the construction site," says Muluneh. "The delivery method is similar, but the bridges are completely different."

The Eastern Avenue bridge is listed as an ABC project on Florida International University's ABC University Transportation Center page.

It also includes the Dead Run and Turkey Run bridges on the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Fairfax County and the bridge on Maryland Route 450, over Bacon Ridge Branch, in central Anne Arundel County.

As for overall bridge safety, according to the most recent online data, approximately 2.4 percent of D.C.'s bridges are structurally deficient, approximately 1.8 percent of the bridges in Northern Virginia, and in Maryland, 67 bridges total.

However, that does not mean they are unsafe.

"It's safe for the public to use but there`s some elements of the bridge that need attention," says Muluneh. "All of our bridges in the District are safe."

Muluneh says those bridges in the district deemed structurally deficient have either started construction or have plans for construction in the near future.

Per federal law, they expect the bridges at least once every two years.