Investigation underway after partial crane collapse kills one, injures two on Fort Lauderdale bridge


Florida Construction News staff writer

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Florida Department of Transportation, and Fort Lauderdale police, are conducting investigations to determine the cause of a deadly partial crane collapse in early April.

“It’s my understanding from the construction company, that they were doing a process at the time called stepping the crane,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Chief Stephen Gollan said at a press conference. “It was not the crane . . . that actually failed. It was a platform that they had equipment staged on that had failed at the time of the incident and those items fell from up on the building down onto the bridge below.”

“The worker fell from an elevated area of the building that was under construction.”

The incident, which happened at one of the busiest traffic times in downtown Fort Lauderdale, killed a 27-year-old construction worker.

“To think that no one on the ground suffered substantial injuries, other than the individual that was working is unbelievable,” Gollan said. “The amount of cars and traffic . . . this could have been a whole lot worse.”

Construction crews were working on a high-rise building at the time.

“My heart goes out to the family, friends and co-workers of the individual who tragically died yesterday amid a crane accident on SE 3rd Avenue at the New River bridge,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis.. My thoughts are also with the two others who were injured.  I would like to thank our Police and Fire departments for their quick response to the accident.

“Additionally, I would like to thank the city manager and the leadership of FDOT for working closely together to ensure the bridge was inspected and repaired overnight so it could safely reopen.”City staff will work with other government agencies to determine what caused this accident to ensure future safety, the mayor said. Emergency crews worked overnight to clear the debris and repair a hole in the bridge, allowing traffic to resume.

The construction project at 333 North New River Drive East is a 43-story building Gables Riverwalk.

Gables Residential, an Atlanta-based apartment development firm, is the developer and Kast Construction is the general contractor.


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