The Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) suspended FIGG Bridge Engineers, Inc. from participating in any federally funded projects and has proposed a 10-year debarment, which would bar FIGG from performing work on any federally funded or assisted projects.
The FHWA decision to bar FIGG is based on FIGG’s involvement with the 2018 pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University’s campus. As you may recall, the collapse killed six people when the pedestrian bridge fell onto the underlying roadway.
In response to FHWA’s notice, FIGG issued a statement that it would vigorously contest the proposed debarment and continues to deny any design errors with the collapsed bridge. All the while, FIGG settled a number of claims brought by those injured in the collapse for more than $103 million. And, FIGG has been removed from pending projects due the Florida collapse, like the nearly $1 billion bridge project in Texas.
Now, FIGG is fighting for its very existence in that if a large portion of its work is on federal projects. If it cannot perform any federally assisted work, one must wonder what work will be left for FIGG to do.
While this is an extreme example, bad projects can spiral out of control. With the assistance of an experienced construction lawyer, construction professionals may be able to minimize the impact of a bad project.