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Collapsed Miami Bridge Used Construction Method Common In Utah


The pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Miami last week was built using a method that is designed to make installation faster and easier. 
It's called accelerated bridge construction and Utah uses it frequently. That’s according to John Gleason, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation.

“This is a method of bridge construction we've been using for a little more than a decade now," he said. "And we have more than 200 bridges here that have been built using that method."

With accelerated bridge construction, prefabricated materials are made in a factory and assembled off-site.

Gleason said it’s natural for people to question the safety of bridges after an event like the Miami collapse, which killed six people. But he said Utah’s bridges are safe. 

"We're very confident in our protocols," he said. "We're very confident in the way they're designed and built, and we stand behind them 100 percent.”

Investigators are still determining the cause of the structural failure in Florida, though engineers had warned of cracks in the concrete days before it fell. 

Gleason said one of the first bridges to use this method was 4500 South on the I-215 East Belt. About seven bridges along I-80 between State Street and 1300 East are also constructed this way. 

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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