TDOT using same construction technique as collapsed Florida bridge

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Department of Transportation uses the same Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) technique to replace bridges in Tennessee as that which was used to implement a new pedestrian bridge in Florida. The bridge collapsed Thursday, five days after installation.

TDOT's MemFix 4 project aims to replace four bridges over Interstate 240 by summer 2019.

In a TDOT video, they explain the Accelerated Bridge Construction process, a relatively new technique used to replace bridges without disrupting traffic during construction. The new bridge parts get constructed near the current bridge site. Then, according to the video, "the super structure of the existing bridges will be demolished and carried away. Transport trucks will carry the pieces to the bridge site where cranes will set the new structure into place... By using accelerated bridge construction, TDOT will deliver results quickly.”

Lynn Jones drives the Park Avenue bridge over 240 to get to work at the University of Memphis.

“This is a key artery going across the interstate," he said. “I hope we have better luck than they did in Florida.”

WREG contacted TDOT to ask whether the Florida collapse causes concern about a similar risk using the technique in Memphis.

A TDOT spokesperson said they don’t know enough to make a comment at this time.

Drivers hoped they'd get answers soon.

“I hope the engineers in Tennessee are able to give us more assurance than that of whether it's going to stay up or not," Jones said.

“If it happened that fast they probably need to reevaluate it, and do due diligence to understand what happened down there versus what they have to do here,” Hoffman said.

TDOT already completed a project using ABC in Nashville 2015.

Memphis-based company Barnart also had a hand in the Florida bridge ABC construction.

The company released this statement: "Barnhart Crane and Rigging is saddened by the news of the tragedy that occurred in Miami with the collapse of the Florida International University pedestrian bridge. Barnhart was contracted to move the bridge into place and was not involved with the design or construction of the bridge. Our scope of work was completed without incident and according to all technical requirements. Barnhart crews and equipment were not on site at the time of the incident. We will fully cooperate with authorities as they investigate the cause of the collapse. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragic event."