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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-88-017
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: ENCOURAGE STATES TO CONDUCT IN-DEPTH HYDRAULIC STUDIES DURING REHABILITATION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF BRIDGES OVER WATER TO DETERMINE IF CHANGES IN THE STREAM FLOW AND STREAMBED HAVE AFFECTED THE ADEQUACY OF THE INITIAL DESIGN.
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: 11/21/1990
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FHWA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 11/21/1990
Response:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/9/1989
Response: THE FHWA HAS DEVELOPED & DISSEMINATED TECHNICAL ADVISORY T5140.20 ENTITLED "SCOUR AT BRIDGES" DATED 9/16/88, WHICH RECOMMENDS THAT STATES EVALUATE ALL EXISTING BRIDGES ON SCOURABLE STREAMS TO: DETERMINE THOSE BRIDGES THAT ARE SCOUR CRITICAL (VULNERABLE TO DAMAGE FROM SCOUR), AND DETERMINE A PLAN OF ACTION FOR MONITORING AND INSTALLING COUNTERMEASURES AT SCOUR CRITICAL BRIDGES.

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/17/1988
Response: A TECHNICAL ADVISORY FOR EVALUATING SCOUR AT BRIDGES IS IN THE FINAL STAGES OF PREPARATION. THE TA DISCUSSES HYDRAULIC STUDIES WHICH SHOULD BE CONDUCTED FOR BRIDGES OVER WATER. IN ADDITION, THE REVISION TO THE "RECORDING AND CODING GUIDE FOR THE STRUCTURE INVENTORY AND APPRAISAL OF THE NATION'S BRIDGES" WILL HAVE A NEW ITEM "SCOUR CRITICAL BRIDGES" WHICH WHEN COMPLETED WILL ASSESS THE CURRENT STATUS OF A BRIDGE REGARDING ITS VULNERABILITY TO SCOUR.