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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-90-070
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 TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: MODIFY BRIDGE INSPECTION REPORT REVIEW PROCEDURES TO REQUIRE THAT HYDRAULIC ENGINEERS REVIEW AND EVALUATE ALL BRIDGE INSPECTION REPORTS WHICH IDENTIFY THE PRESENCE OF SCOUR OR CHANNEL MIGRATION; AND EMPHASIZE THE IDENTIFICATION AND CORRECTION OF CHANNEL MOVEMENTS AND SCOUR.
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: 1/8/1993
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: State of Tennessee, Department of Transportation (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: State of Tennessee, Department of Transportation
Date: 1/8/1993
Response: THE BOARD HAS REVIEWED THE TDOT'S NEW BRIDGE-INSPECTION REPORT-REVIEW PROCEDURES THAT REQUIRE BRIDGE INSPECTION TEAMS TO IDENTIFY EACH SCOUR CRITICAL BRIDGE BY PUTTING A SPECIAL LABEL ON THE COVER SHEET OF THE FIELD INSPECTION REPORT. ALL FIELD REPORTS ARE SENT TO HEADQUARTERS & REVIEWED BY A HYDRAULIC ENGINEER IN THE REPAIR SECTION. REPORTS WITH A SPECIAL LABEL RECEIVE FIRST PRIORITY FOR ACTION. BASED ON THIS INFORMATION, WE HAVE CLASSIFIED RECOMMENDATION H-90-70 "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: State of Tennessee, Department of Transportation
To: NTSB
Date: 9/14/1992
Response: TDOT'S BRIDGE INSPECTION SCOUR PROCEDURES REQUIRE THE INSPECTION TEAMS TO IDENTIFY OBSERVED SCOUR CRITICAL BRIDGES BY FLAGGING THEM WITH A SPECIAL LABEL PLACED ON THE COVER SHEET OF THE FIELD INSPECTION REPORT. THOSE BRIDGES THAT ARE NOT CONSIDERED OBSERVED SCOUR CRITICAL BUT EXHIBIT EVIDENCE OF SCOUR ACTIVITY ARE NOT FLAGGED WITH A SPECIAL LABEL, HOWEVER, THE SCOUR CONDITION IS DOCUMENTED IN THE FIELD REPORT. BOTH SUMMARIES ARE SENT TO THE HYDRAULIC ENGINEER IN THE REPAIR SECTION FOR FURTHER REVIEW AND PRIORITIZATION FOR ASSIGNMENT TO A CONSULTANT ENGINEERING FIRMS FOR HYDRAULIC ANALYSIS.

From: NTSB
To: State of Tennessee, Department of Transportation
Date: 6/12/1992
Response: