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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-71-013
Details
Synopsis: THE U.S. 35 HIGHWAY BRIDGE CONNECTING POINT PLEASANT, WEST VIRGINIA, WITH KANAUGA, OHIO, COLLAPSED AT APPROXIMATELY 5 P.M. (EST) DECEMBER 15, 1967. FORTY-SIX PERSONS DIED IN THE ACCIDENT, NINE WERE INJURED, AND 31 OF THE 37 VEHICLES ON THE BRIDGE FELL WITH THE BRIDGE. TWENTY-FOUR VEHICLES FELL INTO THE OHIO RIVER AND SEVEN FELL ON THE OHIO SHORE. THERE WERE NO PEDESTRIANS ON THE BRIDGE AT THE TIME OF COLLAPSE.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION EXPAND EXISTING RESEARCH PROGRAMS OR INSTITUTE NEW RESEARCH PROGRAMS TO: (A) IDENTIFY BRIDGE BUILDING MATERIALS SUSCEPTIBLE TO SLOW FLAW GROWTH BY ANY OF THE SUSPECTED MECHANISMS; (B) DETERMINE CRITICAL FLAW SIZE UNDER VARIOUS STRESS LEVELS IN BRIDGE BUILDING MATERIALS; (C) DEVELOP INSPECTION EQUIPMENT CAPABLE OF DETECTING CRITICAL OR NEAR CRITICAL FLAWS IN STANDING BRIDGE STRUCTURES; (D) DEVISE ANALYTICAL PROCEDURES TO IDENTIFY CRITICAL LOCATIONS IN BRIDGE STRUCTURES WHICH REQUIRE DETAILED INSPECTION; (E) DEVELOP STANDARDS WHICH INCORPORATE APPROPRIATE SAFEGUARDS IN THE DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF FUTURE BRIDGES TO ENSURE PROTECTION AGAINST FAILURES OF MATERIAL SUCH AS OCCURRED IN THE POINT PLEASANT BRIDGE; (F) DEVELOP STANDARDS FOR THE QUALIFICATION OF MATERIALS FOR FUTURE BRIDGE STRUCTURES, USING THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED IN THIS INVESTIGATION; (G) DEVISE TECHNIQUES FOR REPAIR, PROTECTION, OR SALVAGE OF BRIDGES DAMAGED BY INTERNAL FLAWS; AND (H) EXPAND THE KNOWLEDGE OF LOADING HISTORY AND LIFE EXPECTANCY OF BRIDGES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Point Pleasant, WV, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 80267
Accident Reports: Collapse of U.S. 35 Highway Bridge
Report #: HAR-71-01
Accident Date: 12/15/1967
Issue Date: 12/16/1970
Date Closed: 10/29/1975
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: DOT (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: DOT
To: NTSB
Date: 12/21/1971
Response: FHWA - RECOMMENDED TO SECRETARY DOT THAT THE DEPARTMENT CONCUR IN THE BOARD'S FINDINGS AS TO CAUSE OF BRIDGE FAILURE. RESEARCH CONTRACTS TO IDENTIFY BRIDGE BUILDING MATERIALS SUSCEPTIBLE TO SLOW FLAW GROWTH AND TO PERMIT INTERPRETATION OF CRITICAL FLOW SIZE ARE ALREADY IN PROCESS. A CONTRACTOR HAS JUST BEEN SELECTED TO PURSUE THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW CONCEPTS IN INSPECTION EQUIPMENT FOR DETECTING SUCH CRITICAL FLAWS. RECOMMENDATION 1.F IS UNDER ACTIVE DISCUSSION WITH THE APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY OFFICIALS (AASHO). RECOMMENDATIONS D AND E ARE PROVIDED FOR IN 1972 RESEARCH BUDGET PROGRAMS. EXPANDED FUNDING HAS BEEN REQUESTED TO COMPLY WITH PROGRAMS IN THE AREA OF RESEARCH AS RECOMMENDED IN 1.F. 8-23-74 FHWA LETTER UPDATES STATUS OF RECOMMENDATION AS OF JULY 1974. IN APRIL 1972 FHWA ISSUED A REPORT ENTITLED: STRESS-CORROSION SUSCEPTIBILITY OF HIGHWAY BRIDGES CONSTRUCTION STEELS, PHASE 1 (REPORT NO. FHWA RD 73-3). PHASE 2A OF THAT REPORT IS NOW READY FOR PUBLICATION AND PHASE 2B IS PLANNED. STUDIES ON FATIGUE OF BRIDGE STEELS ARE BEING CONDUCTED UNDER CONTRACT BY LEHIGH UNIVERSITY. ONE FATIGUE STUDY IS NOW FINISHED. FHWA HAS ALSO BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN PROMOTING DEVELOPMENT OF VARIOUS SOPHISTICATED BRIDGE INSPECTION DEVICES. ACOUSTIC CRACK DETECTORS (ACD) AND MAGNETIC CRACK DEFINERS (MCD) ARE NOW UNDERGOING EVALUATION BY 10 STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENTS. SECOND GENERATION INSPECTION DEVICES ARE ALSO BEING DEVELOPED WITH THE AID OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION.