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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-88-020
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: RESEARCH METHODS BY WHICH ALERTING SIGNS AND DETECTION DEVICES COULD BE PLACED ON OR NEAR BRIDGES FOR OBSERVATION DURING FLOOD CONDITIONS TO AID IN THE DECISION TO CLOSE BRIDGES, PARTICULARLY THOSE BUILT ON SPREAD FOOTINGS.
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: 10/7/1997
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FHWA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 10/7/1997
Response: The Safety Board notes that under the aegis of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 21-3, “Instrumentation for Measuring Scour at Bridge Piers and Abutments,” two devices have been developed that can be used to monitor bridges for scour. These devices are being promoted through FHWA Demonstration Project 97, “Scour Monitoring and Instrumentation,” which includes a 1 1/2 day, hands-on workshop that has been taught in eight States and scheduled for five more. Therefore, Safety Recommendation H-88-20 has been classified, “Closed--Acceptable Action.”

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/27/1997
Response: An interim report was presented on October 11, 1990, for the NCHRP project titled "Insuumentation for Measuring Scour at Bridge Piers and Abutments." This research project is being conducted to provide bridge owners with instrumentation for monitoring the extent of scour at bridge substructures. Equipment such as the Brisco Monitor is available on the market which can be attached to substructure units to monitor scour. The NCHRP 21-3, "Instrumentation for Measwins Scour at Bridge Piers and Abutments" has identified and developed two devices which can be used to monitor bridges for scow. These devices have been being widely deployed for field testing. The devices are being implemented through FHWA Demonstration Project 97 (DP 97), Scour Monitoring and Instrumentation, whch is a 1.5 day hands-on workshop which introduces State highway personnel to both fixed and portable instrumentaion, monitoring devices, positioning systems and data collection systems. The DP 97 which started in 1996 has been taught in eight States and is scheduled in five more.

From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 6/21/1993
Response: THE BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT SCOUR DETECTING EQUIPMENT SUCH AS THE BRISCO MONITOR, IS AVAILABLE. FURTHERMORE, THE FHWA IS DEVELOPING TWO DEVICES TO MONITOR BRIDGES FOR SCOUR, AND THESE DEVICES ARE NOW BEING FIELD TESTED. BASED ON THIS INFORMATION, RECOMMENDATION H-88-20 WILL REMAIN "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE" PENDING THE COMPLETION OF FIELD TESTS.

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/19/1993
Response: A STATUS UPDATE AS OF FEBRUARY 19 INDICATES THAT NCHRP-21-3, "INSTRUMENTATION FOR MEASURING SCOUR AT BRIDGE PIERS AND ABUTMENTS" HAS IDENTIFIED AND DEVELOPED TWO DEVICES WHICH CAN BE USED TO MONITOR BRIDGES FOR SCOUR. THESE DEVICES ARE NOW BEING WIDELY DEPLOYED FOR FIELD TESTING.

From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 12/2/1991
Response:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/22/1991
Response: A TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD, NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROJECT TITLED "INSTRUMENTATION FOR MEASURING SCOUR AT BRIDGE PIERS AND ABUTMENTS" IS BEING CONDUCTED TO PROVIDE BRIDGE OWNERS WITH INSTRUMENTATION FOR MONITORING THE EXTENT OF SCOUR AT BRIDGE SUBSTRUCTURES. THE INSTRUMENTATION DEVELOPED BY THIS PROJECT WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR USE IN MONITORING SCOUR CRITICAL BRIDGES AND FOR COLLECTING DATA ON SCOUR DEPTH.

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:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/17/1988
Response: TECHNICAL ADVISORY T5140.19, PIER PROTECTION & WARNING SYSTEMS FOR BRIDGES TO SHIP COLLISIONS, ISSUED 2/11/83, DISCUSSED THE STATE-OF-THE-ART WARNING SYSTEMS. A PROPOSED RESEARCH PROJECT WILL REVIEW THE USE OF RADAR SYSTEMS FOR DETERMINING SCOUR WHICH COULD BE COUPLED TO A SIGNAL DEVICE.