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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-88-016
Details
Synopsis: ON APRIL 5, 1987, TWO SPANS OF A 540-FOOT-LONG NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY (I-90) BRIDGE OVER THE SCHOHARIE CREEK FELL ABOUT 80 FEET INTO THE RAIN-SWOLLEN CREEK AFTER PIER 3, WHICH PARTIALLY SUPPORTED THE SPANS, COLLAPSED. NINETY MINUTES AFTER THE INITIAL COLLAPSE, PIER 2 AND A THIRD SPAN COLLAPSED. FOUR PASSENGER CARS AND ONE TRACTOR-SEMITRAILER PLUNGED INTO THE CREEK, AND 10 PERSONS WERE FATALLY INJURED. WATER LEVELS IN THE CREEK HAD BEEN RISING SINCE THE AFTER NOON OF APRIL 4 AND THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAD ISSUED WARNINGS OF FLOODING IN THE LOW-LYING AREAS ADJACENT TO THE CREEK.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION: EXPAND THE SCOPE OF THE FEDERAL-STATE COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM ON EVALUATING BRIDGE PERFORMANCE DURING FLOOD CONDITIONS TO INCLUDE THE DOCUMENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF RIPRAP STABILITY AT APPLICABLE BRIDGE SITES; DISSEMINATE THE RESULTS OF THIS EXPANDED STUDY TO OWNERS OF BRIDGES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Amsterdam, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA87MH005
Accident Reports: Collapse of New York Thruway (I-90) Bridge over the Schoharie Creek
Report #: HAR-88-02
Accident Date: 4/5/1987
Issue Date: 6/8/1988
Date Closed: 12/2/1991
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FHWA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Stability

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 12/2/1991
Response:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/22/1991
Response: THE NTSB HAS BEEN FURNISHED A COPY OF HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING CIRCULAR (HEC)11 TITLED "DESIGN OF RIPRAP REVETMENT," FHWA-IP-89-016 AND AN ADVANCE COPY OF HEC 18 TITLED "EVALUATING SCOUR AT BRIDGES," FHWA-IP-90-017. THESE PUBLICATIONS CONTAIN RIPRAP DESIGN PROCEDURES OR PIERS AND ABUTMENTS. HEC 18 BEING DISTRIBUTED TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY INSTITUTE COURSE, SCOUR AND STREAM STABILITY OF BRIDGES. THE 3 DAY COURSE HAS BEEN PRESENTED AT TWO PILOTS AND TO THE MICHIGAN DOT.

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/10/1990
Response:

From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 11/21/1990
Response:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/9/1989
Response: "SCOUR AT BRIDGES" DATED 9/16/88 & HAS DISSEMINATED IT TO ALL FHWA FIELD OFFICES & STATE HIGHWAY AGENCIES. THE ATTACHMENT TO THIS ADVISORY CONTAINS INTERIM PROCEDURES FOR THE ANALYSIS OF RIPRAP STABILITY AT PIERS & ABUTMENTS FOR APPLICABLE BRIDGE SITES. FURTHER, THE FHWA HAS UNDERTAKEN A SERIES OF TRAINING EFFORTS, WORKSHOPS & DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS TO UPGRADE THE KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS OF BRIDGE DESIGNERS & INSPECTORS REGARDING SCOUR & USE OF SCOUR COUNTERMEASURES INCLUDING RIPRAP. FINALLY, CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONAL RESEARCH ON RIPRAP HAS BEEN UNDERTAKEN FOR THE PURPOSE OF REFINING THE INTERIM PROCEDURES CONTAINED IN THE TECHNICAL ADVISORY.

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/17/1988
Response: ONE OF THE CURRENT FHWA PROGRAMS TO IMPROVE THE NATION'S BRIDGE INSPECTION PROGRAM IS A HIGH PRIORITY AREA FOR CRITICAL SUBSTRUCTURE BRIDGE ELEMENTS. THIS PROGRAM INCLUDES SCOUR PREDICTION & EVALUATION FOR THE SCOUR AT EXISTING BRIDGES AND IMPROVED METHODS TO DETERMINE THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY OF THE UNDERWATER ELEMENTS OF BRIDGES.