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Transportation

Don't Just Rebuild the Collapsed Pedestrian Bridge in Miami

Instead, a pair of local street planners propose redesigning the street below.
A rendering of Sweetwater, Florida's Eighth Street, reimagined as a tree-lined boulevard.
A rendering of Sweetwater, Florida's Eighth Street, reimagined as a tree-lined boulevard. Dover, Kohl & Partners

It’s been three weeks since a pedestrian bridge that had been billed as ”an engineering feat” collapsed over a busy Southwest Eighth Street in a Miami suburb, killing six motorists. So far, there are still more questions than answers about the cause of the incident near the Sweetwater campus of Florida International University. But beyond the technical reasons why the structure failed, there’s a deeper issue: Was a 174-foot bridge that spanned eight lanes of traffic ever the best solution in the first place?

That’s what one local urban planning studio is asking. Last week, street planners Victor Dover and Kenneth García of the Miami firm Dover, Kohl & Partners published a proposal for redesigning the area. The pair criticized not only the “accelerated bridge construction” technique used in the FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge, but the fundamental design of the street it once spanned: