Walkway Collapse in Ellicott City

Aug. 8, 2019 by Enyinna Anthony, PMP, CCM

When I read the news about yesterday’s walkway collapse in Ellicott City, I couldn’t help but feel the mixed emotions of sorrow, shock, gratitude and fear.

I felt sorrow for the person who was injured. I felt shock that something like this could even happen. There was gratitude that not more people were hurt, and that no loss of life was suffered by the injured party, as I know all too well that this can happen. And finally, I felt fear, because with all the construction work, building, bridge and roadway repairs that go on every day, what are the chances that something like this could happen again with even more disastrous results?

As an engineer, the wonder of a city skyline never escapes me because in my field of expertise and education, I know just how much science, planning and labor go into constructing one bridge, more or less an entire metropolis of structures that, for better or for worse, we tend to take for granted every single day.

It’s for this reason that safety and quality control became one of the key focuses of my business. In a world of construction, when a million things can go wrong, we must make every effort to ensure that the things that go right are the protection and safety of not only our citizens, but the workers building these engineering feats.

There is not enough information reported for me to even begin to speculate as to how this might have happened, but my thoughts and prayers go out to the individual who was injured yesterday in this incident.

I take it as a reminder that we have moral duty to take proper due diligence in every phase of the construction life cycle and conduct each of the jobs we do with the utmost integrity.