The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to extend the contract of Magnum Construction Management (MCM), formerly known as Munilla Construction Management, by one-and-a-half years for construction services throughout the county's airport system. MCM was the general contractor for the Florida International University pedestrian bridge, which collapsed in February 2018, killing six and injuring eight others.
The change order is the fourth extension to a $50 million contract that the county awarded MCM in December 2011. Since then, Miami-Dade county commissioners have continued to extend the company's contract via change order to ensure continuity of services and have increased the contract amount by $79.8 million to almost $130 million, which mostly covers projects at Miami International Airport.
The extension was approved as part of the commission's consent agenda, and there was no discussion around the decision. However, according to a memo prepared by staff, the county has issued a Request for Qualification for a replacement contractor. If a new contractor is selected before MCM's contract expires, then the county has the right to terminate MCM's contract for convenience.
MCM has had to endure some serious setbacks since the FIU accident. Since last year, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, lost its Florida DOT certifications and missed out on approximately $200 million of revenue from future projects. The company also had to turn to its surety companies to help finance the completion of bonded projects.
In May, MCM settled civil lawsuits related to the collapse, with insurers setting aside a pool of up to $42 million that will be paid to victims and their families. Earlier this month, more defendants settled additional FIU lawsuits, adding an undisclosed amount of money to the $42 million.
MCM was also one of the subjects of a June OSHA report in which the administration's Office of Engineering Services blamed the contractor, engineer FIGG Bridge Group and other project players for not acting to shut down construction and stop vehicular traffic under the FIU bridge once it became obvious that minor cracks observed prior to installation had grown large enough to threaten the structure.
FIGG is currently undergoing scrutiny in Connecticut after state lawmakers questioned the state DOT’s choice to award it a contract to oversee repair and inspection services for a 71-year-old bridge that connects the Connecticut towns of Portland and Middletown. Thus far, the DOT has defended its decision.