Not a good sign
From the Orlando Sentinel-
The sign was supposed to come down in 20 minutes -- and in the middle of the night, on a near-deserted highway.This is just a guess educated or otherwise, that the construction company and the subcontractor both assumed the other had checked the weight of the sign before doing the work. As a movie character once said, assuming or assumptions are the mother of all f@@@ups. Assumptions that another party had checked both weight and design work helped to cause this tragedy. Central Floridians can count themselves fortunate this sign didn't come crashing down with traffic passing underneath. The people under the Hyatt Regency skywalks weren't so lucky.
But Central Florida commuters and vacationers were confronted with a "fiasco" when Interstate 4 shut down near Disney World for almost 11 hours because of problems bringing down a 40-ton sign and truss.
Drivers were diverted, alternate roadways backed up to a standstill, toll collectors apologized for the wait and tempers flared.
FDOT is investigating how workers underestimated the weight of the highway sign, which was scheduled to come down at 3 a.m. It will be interviewing workers of its contract company, Granite Construction Co., and those of the subcontractor, Highway Safety Devices, trying to determine what went wrong and whether there were contingency plans. The Transportation Department could issue delinquency letters to the companies responsible for Tuesday's problems, making it more difficult for them to gain contracts with the state. The companies also could face a fine of up to $10,000 for not reopening the traffic lanes by 5 a.m., Homan said.
"We're happy no one was hurt," said Jacque Underdown, spokeswoman for Granite Construction Co. "And we empathize with the motoring public."
The highway reopened in both directions at Osceola Parkway about 2:30 p.m. -- but by then the damage had been done.
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