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Firm That Designed Collapsed FIU Bridge Also Building East Chicago Span

CHICAGO (CBS) -- One of the firms that worked on the pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Florida, killing six people, also is building a bridge in East Chicago, Indiana.

The new Cline Avenue bridge will stretch for more than a mile, rising 10 stories above the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal when it opens next year.

The $140 million project will replace the old Cline Avenue bridge, which was closed and condemned in 2009.

The FIGG Bridge Group designed the Florida pedestrian bridge that collapsed, and is building the upcoming Cline Avenue bridge replacement.

At least six people were killed when the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University collapsed Thursday afternoon, crushing several cars that were stopped underneath. Police haven't ruled out the possibility more bodies are in the rubble. The span that collapsed had been installed on Saturday, but the bridge was not complete.

In response to the accident at FIU, FIGG released a statement which said, in part, "in our 40 year history, nothing like this has ever happened before. Our entire team mourns the loss of life and injuries associated with this devastating tragedy."

However, the work of FIGG bridge engineers has come under legal scrutiny before.

In 2003, the firm was sued by Delaware over what state officials called faulty engineering of the Indian River Inlet bridge that was never completed, after it was discovered the embankments were unstable. FIGG paid out $5 million to settle that lawsuit.

In 2012, a 90-ton section of a FIGG bridge under construction in Virginia crashed onto railroad tracks below. The commonwealth sued, saying it was pure luck no one was killed during that incident, which delayed opening of the bridge more than three months.

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