(CNN) An engineer for the company that designed a pedestrian bridge that collapsed Thursday, killing at least six people, left a voice mail two days earlier for a Florida Department of Transportation employee advising there was “some cracking that’s been observed on the north end of the span.”
The state employee was out on assignment Tuesday and didn’t hear the voice mail from W. Denney Pate of FIGG Bridge Engineers until he returned to the office Friday, the DOT said.
Pate’s voice mail said the design company didn’t see any safety concerns on the project near Florida International University but that the cracking was not a good development and would have to be repaired.
The news came as the National Transportation Safety Board disclosed that construction crews were working on diagonal beams on the north end of a future pedestrian bridge when the structure collapsed.
The NTSB investigator in charge, Robert Accetta, said Friday night it was too early to tell whether the bridge failed at the point construction workers were applying post-tensioning force to strengthen the beams.
When asked about the cracking, Accetta said: “I would have to say that a crack in the bridge does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.”
According to a state DOT transcript, the voice mail message said: “Hey Tom, this is Denney Pate with FIGG Bridge Engineers. Calling to, uh, share with you some information about the FIU pedestrian bridge and some cracking that’s been observed on the north end of the span, the pylon end of that span we moved this weekend.
“Um, so, uh, we’ve taken a look at it and, uh, obviously some repairs or whatever will have to be done but from a safety perspective we don’t see that there’s any issue there so we’re not concerned about it from that perspective although obviously the cracking is not good and something’s going to have to be, ya know, done to repair that.
“At any rate, I wanted to chat with you about that because I suspect at some point that’s gonna get to your desk. So, uh, at any rate, call me back when you can. Thank you. Bye.”