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Company that designed collapsed Florida bridge also helped design Honolulu rail

(Image: Hawaii News Now/File) (Image: Hawaii News Now/File)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The same company that designed the pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Florida last week also helped design the Honolulu rail line, Hawaii News Now has learned.

The City and County of Honolulu says the FIGG Bridge Group was part of the team that engineered the rail’s elevated guideway.

A spokesman, however, says there’s no reason to suspect any safety concerns.

University of Hawaii engineering professor Panos Prevedouros, who’s a longtime critic of the rail project, agreed.

“It had some minor issues, some not so minor issues, but obviously not a collapse, so I don't think the rail is under a threat,” he said. “If there is a threat for the rail, it may be a geotechnical issue, the foundation, and I think the bridge is already standing pretty good. But the bigger part of any bridge is its own weight, so the live load of the train is not going to add too much.”

Prevedouros said it appears the Florida bridge collapse that killed six people was caused by a construction mistake, not the design.

The city says the FIGG group did not design any of the pedestrian bridges for the rail project.

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