Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-90-063
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 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS: MODIFY SECTION 4.6, "RATING OF BRIDGES, LIMITING VEHICLE WEIGHTS" OF THE MANUAL FOR MAINTENANCE INSPECTION OF BRIDGES TO DELETE THE SECTION WHICH EXEMPTS CERTAIN CONCRETE BRIDGES FROM LOAD POSTING.
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: 6/20/1995
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 6/20/1995
Response: THE BOARD NOTES THAT SECTION 7, "ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS," OF THE MANUAL FOR CONDITION EVALUATION OF BRIDGES 1994 SPECIFIES FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN ASSESSING THE SHORT & LONG-TERM LOAD-CARRYING CAPACITY OF BRIDGES. SECTION 7.4 "POSTING OF BRIDGES," STATES THAT THE BRIDGE OWNER, USING GENERAL INSPECTION PROCEDURES & ESTABLISHED PRACTICES, SHOULD DETERMINE THE NEED TO LOAD POST A BRIDGE. ACCORDINGLY, H-90-63 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
To: NTSB
Date: 12/8/1994
Response: H-90-62 & -63 DEAL WITH RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO MAINTENANCE INSPECTION OF BRIDGES. AS NOTED, THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED & A COPY OF THE SUCCESSOR DOCUMENT ENCLOSED.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 5/12/1992
Response:

From: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
To: NTSB
Date: 1/2/1992
Response: RECOMMENDATIONS H-90-62 AND -63 HAVE BEEN REFERRED TO OUR HIGHWAY SUBCOMMITTEE ON BRIDGES AND STRUCTURES WHICH HAS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MANUAL FOR MAINTENANCE INSPECTION OF BRIDGES. THESE ITEMS ARE UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR INCLUSION OF THE REWRITE OF THE MANUAL WHICH SHOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR FULL SUBCOMMITTEE ACTION IN MID 1992.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 8/28/1990
Response:

From: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
To: NTSB
Date: 7/27/1990
Response: THESE HAVE BEEN FORWARDED TO THE APPROPRIATE MEMBERS OF THE AASHTO HIGHWAY SUBCOMMITTEE ON BRIDGES AND STRUCTURES FOR CONSIDERATION AND DISPOSITION. YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN KNOWING THAT THE AASHTO PUBLICATION, MAINTENANCE INSPECTION OF BRIDGES, TO WHICH RECOMMENDATIONS H-90-62 AND -63 ARE DIRECTED AS WELL AS AN EARLIER RECOMMENDATION H-89-72 MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER, IS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING SUBSTANTIALLY OVERHAULED AND REWRITTEN UNDER NCHRP 12-23.