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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-77-004
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 11:08 A.M., ON MAY 11, 1976, A TRANSPORT COMPANY OF TEXA TRACTOR-SEMITRAILER (TANK) TRANSPORTING 7,509 GALLONS OF ANHYDROUS AMMONIA STRUCK AND THEN PENETRATED A BRIDGE RAIL ON A RAMP CONNECTING I-610 WITH THE SOUTHWEST FREEWAY (U.S. 59) IN HOUSTON, TEXAS. THE TRACTOR AND TRAILER LEFT THE RAMP, STRUCK A SUPPORT COLUMN OF AN ADJACENT OVERPASS, AND FELL ONTO THE SOUTHWEST FREEWAY,APPROXIMATELY 15 FEET BELOW. THE ANHYDROUS AMMONIA WAS RELEASED FROMTHE DAMAGED TANK SEMITRAILER. SIX PERSONS DIED AS A RESULT OF THE ACCIDENT, 78 PERSONS WERE HOSPITALIZED, AND APPROXIMATELY 100 OTHER PERSONS WERE TREATED FOR INJURIES.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION: EXPEDITE PAST RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SAFETY BOARD REGARDING THE ADOPTION OF STANDARDS FOR BRIDGE BARRIER SYSTEMS THAT REQUIRE NEW INSTALLATIONS TO COMPLY WITH PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Houston, TX, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA76H050
Accident Reports: Transport Company of Texas, Tractor Semitrailer (Tank) Collision with Bridge Column and Sudden Dispersal of Anhydrous Ammonia Cargo
Report #: HAR-77-01
Accident Date: 5/11/1976
Issue Date: 4/25/1977
Date Closed: 7/1/1985
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FHWA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 7/1/1985
Response:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/10/1985
Response: FHWA LTR: THE FOLLOWING TWO RESEARCH REPORTS ADDRESS THESE RECOMMENDATIONS AND HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED TO THE STATES AND THE FHWA FIELD OFFICES: 1) UPGRADING SAFETY PERFORMANCE IN RETROFITTING TRAFFIC RAILING SYSTEMS - FHWA/RD-77-40. A MOVIE DEPICTING THE CRASH TESTS AND FINDINGS OF THIS REPORT HAS ALSO BEEN DISTRIBUTED TO OUR FIELD OFFICES. SEE ENCLOSED TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM DATED FEBRUARY 24, 1983. 2) SAFER BRIDGE RAILINGS VOLUME 1 - SUMMARY REPORT FHWA/RD-82-72.

From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 1/18/1980
Response:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/9/1977
Response: LETTER FROM FHWA: FHWA TRANSMITTED A COPY OF FHWA SURVEY OF THE STATES AS TO THE TYPE OF BRIDGE RAILING EMPLOYED. 12/4/79 - FHWA LTR: FHWA REPORTS ON TWO STUDIES UNDERWAY WITH DIRECT APPLICATION TO H-77-4. "NEW CONCEPTS FOR TRAFFIC BARRIER SYSTEMS" HAS AS ITS OBJECTIVE, THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW SYSTEM OR MODIFICATION OF EXISTING SYSTEMS FOR THE CONTAINMENT AND REDIRECTION OF BOTH HEAVY AND LIGHT VEHICLES. "DEVELOPMENT OF SAFER BRIDGE RAILING DESIGNS" WILL DEVELOP PRELIMINARY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR FULL-SCALE TESTING AND DESIGN LOADINGS SIMILAR TO AASHTO THAT WOULD BE USED IN DESIGN PROCEDURES AND MAXIMUM LATERAL ACCELERATION FOR VARIOUS VEHICLES OBTAINED FROM IMPACTS WITH A FLAT-FACED INSTRUMENTED WALL.