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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-77-005
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: TO THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION: In consultation with state and local governments, establish highway design criteria for the selection, location, and placement of traffic barrier systems that will redirect and prevent penetration when struck by heavy vehicles. The criteria for preventing vehicle penetration should consider the human exposure to injury and the effects of hazardous cargo that could result from barrier penetration. (Superseded by H-80-65)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Superseded
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: 7/22/1985
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FHWA (Closed - Superseded)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 7/22/1985
Response:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/28/1984
Response: FHWA LTR: BECAUSE OF THE CLOSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ALL OF THE ABOVE RECOMMENDATIONS AND THE GLOBAL EFFECT OF H-80-64 AND 65, WE RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT H-74-38, H-77-5, -13, -14, H-80-25, AND -26 BE CLOSED--SUPERSEDED. RECOMMENDA TIONS H-80-64 AND -65 WOULD REMAIN OPEN TO ADDRESS THE TRAFFIC BARRIER SYSTEMS CONCERNS OF THE BOARD. PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT WE ARE CONTINUING TO PURSUE THE TRAFFIC BARRIER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM AS PRESENTED IN OUR BRIEFING AND SEPTEMBER 3, 1983 LETTER.

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/3/1978
Response: FHWA LETTER FORWARDS A COPY OF FHWA EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS 9-2-77 MEMORANDUM TO REGIONAL FHWA WHICH DISCUSSES THE USE AND LOCATION OF HIGHER PERFORMANCE BRIDGE RAILS AND BARRIERS. FIELD OFFICES ARE INSTRUCTED TO IDENTIFY LOCATIONS WHERE IMPROVED BRIDGE RAILS AND BARRIERS ARE WARRANTED WITH PRIORITIES TO BE DETERMINED FOR RETROFIT. THE DESIGN CRITERIA, MEMO AND INSTRUCTION CAN BE FOUND IN THE RECOMMENDATION FILE.