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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-81-020
Details
Synopsis: ON MAY 9, 1980, THE LIBERIAN BULK CARRIER M/V SUMMIT VENTURE RAMMED A SUPPORT PIER OF THE WESTERN SPAN OF THE SUNSHINE SKYWAY BRIDGE IN TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA. AS A RESULT OF THE RAMMING, THE SUPPORT PIER WAS DESTROYED AND ABOUT 1,297 FEET OF BRIDGE DECK AND SUPERSTRUCTURE FELL ABOUT 150 FEET INTO THE BAY. A GREYHOUND BUS, A SMALL PICKUP TRUCK, AND SIX AUTOMOBILES FELL INTO THE BAY AND 35 PERSONS DIED. REPAIR COSTS WERE ESTIMATED AT ABOUT $30 MILLION FOR THE BRIDGE AND ABOUT $1 MILLION FOR THE SUMMIT VENTURE.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION: IN COOPERATION WITH THE U.S. COAST GUARD, DEVELOP STANDARDS FOR THE DESIGN, PERFORMANCE, AND LOCATION OF STRUCTURAL BRIDGE PIER PROTECTION SYSTEMS WHICH CONSIDER THAT THE IMPACT FROM AN OFF COURSE VESSEL CAN OCCUR SIGNIFICANTLY ABOVE AS WELL AS BELOW THE WATER SURFACE.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Bays and Sounds, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA80AM050
Accident Reports: Marine Accident Report: Ramming of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge by teh Liberian Bulk Carrier Summit Venture, Tampa Bay, Florida, May 9, 1980
Report #: MAR-81-03
Accident Date: 5/9/1980
Issue Date: 4/22/1981
Date Closed: 12/5/1984
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FHWA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 12/5/1984
Response:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/5/1984
Response: FHWA LETTER: BECAUSE OF THE LOW PROBABILITY OF OCCURRENCE OF SHIP-BRIDGE COLLISIONS, THE EXTRAORDINARY COST REQUIRED TO DESIGN BRIDGE PIERS TO WITHSTAND THE MASSIVE FORCES ASSOCIATED WITH THE IMPACTS OF LARGE SHIPS, AND THE LIMITED FUNDS AVAILABLE TO CARRY OUT THE NATIONAL BRIDGE PROGRAM, THE FHWA AND COAST GUARD HAVE AGREED THAT IT IS USUALLY NEITHER COST-EFFECTIVE NOR DESIRABLE TO DESIGN ALL WATER PIERS IN NAVIGABLE WATERS TO WITHSTAND THE FULL IMPACT LOADS OF MODERN VESSELS. INSTEAD, EACH BRIDGE CROSSING IS BEING EVALUATED ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS AND THE DEGREE OF PIER PROTECTION DETERMINED FOR THE PARTICULAR NAVIGATIONAL CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE CROSSING. THE FOLLOWING GUIDANCE HAS BEEN MADE AVAILABLE FOR THIS EVALUATION: STANDARDS FOR PIER PROTECTION SYSTEMS ARE CURRENTLY BEING EVALUATED BY AASHTO; A TASK FORCE HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS AS TO FURTHER ACTIONS ON USE OF THE STANDARDS. WHILE THE REFERENCES NOTED ABOVE PROVIDE THE BRIDGE DESIGNER WITH BASIC INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE FOR EVALUATING PIER PROTECTION SYSTEMS, ENGINEERING JUDGEMENT WILL STILL BE REQUIRED FOR APPLICATION OF THE GUIDANCE TO ANY PARTICULAR BRIDGE CROSSING.

From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 5/4/1983
Response:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/25/1983
Response: FHWA LETTER: CONCERNING SAFETY RECOMENDATIONS M-81-20 THROUGH 22, WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AS OUR PROGRESS CONTINUES.

From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 9/23/1982
Response:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/14/1981
Response: FHWA LTR: THE RECENT RESEARCH STUDY, "THE STATE OF THE ART OF BRIDGE PROTECTIVE SYSTEMS AND DEVICES," HAS BEEN MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC AND BRIDGE OWNERS THROUGH THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE, ACCESSION NUMBER ADA 089760. THIS STUDY WAS DONE IN RESPONSE TO THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD (NTSB) RECOMMENDATION H-78-2 AND A COPY WAS SENT TO THE NTSB ON JULY 26, 1979. A FOLLOW-UP STUDY TO PERFORM LABORATORY TESTS OF BRIDGE PROTECTION MODELS WAS INITIATED IN 1980 AND IS NEARLY COMPLETE. THE RESULTS OF THIS RESEARCH APPLY EQUALLY TO PIER PROTECTION ABOVE OR BELOW THE WATER SURFACE. THE RECOMMENDED DESIGN CRITERIA PREPARED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THIS STUDY WILL SOON BE MADE AVAILABLE BY THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION (FHWA) AND THE U.S. COAST GUARD TO THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANPORTATION OFFICIALS (AASHTO) AND THE AMERICAN RAILWAY ENGINEERS ASSOCIATION (AREA). THE FHWA WILL PROPOSE THE AASHTO AND AREA ADOPT THE APPROPRIATE PORTIONS OF THE CRITERIA AS STANDARDS OR GUIDELINES. THE FHWA WILL SUPPLY THE NTSB WITH PROGRESS REPORTS CONCERNING THIS ACTION.