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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-90-057
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 8:15 P.M. CENTRAL STANDARD TIME, APRIL 1, 1989, AN 85. 5-FOOT SECTION OF THE 4,201-FOOT-LONG NORTHBOUND U.S. ROUTE 51 BRIDGE OVER THE HATCHIE RIVER FELL ABOUT 20 FEET INTO THE 24-FOOT-DEEP RAIN-SWOLLEN RIVER AFTER TWO PILE-SUPPORTED COLUMN BENTS SUPPORTING THREE BRIDGE SPANS COLLAPSED. WITNESS REPORTS AND PHYSICAL EVIDENCE INDICATE THAT THE SOUTHERN COLUMN BENT (70) AND THE TWO SPANS THAT IT SUPPORTED FELL QUICKLY, CAUSING FOUR PASSENGER CARS AND ONE TRACTOR-SEMITRAILER TO PLUNGE INTO THE RIVER. THE ADJACENT COLUMN BENT (71) AND THE SPAN THAT IT WAS SUPPORTING THEN COLLAPSED ON TOP OF THE VEHICLES. THE RIVER HAD APPARENTLY BEEN AT FLOOD STAGE SINCE NOVEMBER 1988. ALL EIGHT VEHICLE OCCUPANTS DIED AS A RESULT OF THE COLLAPSE. (COVINGTON, TENNESSEE)
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION: REQUIRE STATES TO DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN CHANNEL PROFILE RECORDS FOR BRIDGES OVER WATER AND TO EVALUATE THE CHANNEL PROFILE RECORDS TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTS OF CHANNEL CHANGES BRIDGES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Covington, TN, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA89MH006
Accident Reports: Collapse of the Northbound U.S. Route 51 Bridge Spans over the Hatchie River
Report #: HAR-90-01
Accident Date: 4/1/1989
Issue Date: 7/24/1990
Date Closed: 10/22/1991
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FHWA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 10/22/1991
Response: Safety Recommendation H-90-57 requested that the FHWA require States to develop and maintain channel profile records for bridges over water and to evaluate the channel profile records to determine the effect Iof channel changes on bridges. The Safety Board notes that the FHWA has developed both a Technical Advisory and a revised Recording and Coding Guide for the Structure Inventory and Appraisal of the Nation's Bridges that contain adequate guidance on the subject of channel profile records. Based on the information distributed to the States in both HEC-18, "Evaluating Scour at Bridges," and HEC-20, "Stream Stability at Highway Structures," Safety Recommendation H-90-57 has been classified as "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/28/1990
Response: THE FHWA ISSUED A REVISED RECORDING AND CODING GUIDE FOR THE STRUCTURE INVENTORY AND APPRAISAL OF THE NATION'S BRIDGES IN DEC. 1988. THE FHWA TECHNICAL ADVISORY 5140.20 WAS ISSUED ON 9/16/88. THE EXISTING GUIDANCE IS DETAILED,THOROUGH AND ADEQUATE.