The Real Deal Miami

Company that oversaw construction of collapsed FIU bridge files for bankruptcy

South Miami-based Munilla Construction Management said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to reorganize and negotiate claims against the company
March 02, 2019 04:00PM

FIU pedestrian bridge collapsed March 15, 2018, and killed six people (Credit: Miami Herald)

UPDATED, Sunday, 3:07 p.m. – The contractor behind a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University that collapsed last year said it filed for bankruptcy to reorganize with protection from creditors.

In a press release issued Friday, Munilla Construction Management (MCM) said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

MCM disclosed in its 1.295-page bankruptcy filling that it has nearly $100 million of assets, approximately $47 million of liabilities and $192,000 of cash.

A spokesman for the company said MCM plans to reorganize in bankruptcy and resume normal business operations over the next six months.

MCM submitted the winning bid to build a pedestrian bridge over Southwest Eighth Street for FIU. Six people were killed when the partially completed bridge collapsed on March 15.

In its press release, MCM indicated that it would negotiate all claims against the company during the bankruptcy process. The company also said the bankruptcy filing is not “an attempt to avoid any responsibility” for the bridge collapse.

An ongoing federal investigation of the incident has not yet determined its cause, which may be a flawed design that caused cracks in the bridge before it collapsed.

Survivors of the bridge collapse and families of the six people killed have sued both FIGG Bridge Group and MCM.

Under a state contract with FIU, MCM oversaw construction of the 174-foot bridge, which was designed by FIGG Bridge Group.

Since the collapse, South Miami-based MCM has struggled to win new contracts for construction projects.

In September, for example, the company joined the bidding for a county library project in Hialeah Gardens but subsequently withdrew its bid.

MCM and FIGG Bridge Group also tried to win an $800 million state contract to build a new Interstate 395 bridge connecting Miami and Miami Beach, but stopped trying after the FIU bridge collapsed.

MCM said in its press release that the company is still and has obtained about $18 million of financing to complete ongoing construction projects.

“The [bankruptcy] reorganization will have minimal impact on operations,” Jorge Munilla, president of MCM, said in a prepared statement. [Miami Herald]Mike Seemuth

This story was updated to include financial details in the bankruptcy filing by MCM.