Florida International University students returned to class on Monday after Spring Break to find a mess of traffic and delayed shuttles just days after a fatal bridge collapse. A newly constructed pedestrian bridge collapsed onto the road on Thursday, killing six people, including one FIU student. The scene of the accident is still under investigation. School officials launched a number of shuttles to assist in ferrying students to class in anticipation of snarled traffic due to road closures. However, frustrations rose as the shuttles were often delayed up to 30 minutes.
The main cause of the gridlock is primarily because the busy thoroughfare Southwest Eighth Street is closed between 107th and 117th. In addition, most Eighth Street entrances to the campus are closed. This large area of closure has greatly affected both vehicle and pedestrian traffic, as students struggle to find the quickest and most efficient routes to and from classes. As of Tuesday, the only access points are on the east and west sides of the school’s grounds. Late Monday, transportation officials were able to reopen the crosswalk at Eighth Street and 109th Avenue so that students did not have to walk around the entire blockade to get through campus. Prior to this crosswalk reopening, students were reporting delays of over an hour to walk around the area. The Florida Highway Patrol has not yet announced when the roads and other crosswalks will reopen.
The Student Government Association announced plans to hold a memorial vigil this Wednesday at the Graham Center Ballroom.