HIGHWAY ACCIDENT REPORT: COLLAPSE OF U.S. 35 HIGHWAY BRIDGE, POINT PLEASANT, WEST VIRGINIA DECEMBER 15, 1967

WHEN THE U. S. 35 HIGHWAY BRIDGE CONNECTING POINT PLEASANT, WEST VIRGINIA, WITH KANAUGA, OHIO, COLLAPSED IN DECEMBER 1967, FORTY-SIX PERSONS DIED IN THE ACCIDENT, NINE WERE INJURED, AND 31 OF THE 37 VEHICLES ON THE BRIDGE FELL WITH THE BRIDGE. THE SAFETY BOARD FINDS THAT THE CAUSE OF THE COLLAPSE WAS THE CLEAVAGE FRACTURE IN THE LOWER LIMB OF THE EYE OF EYEBAR 330 AT JOINT C13N OF THE NORTH EYEBAR SUSPENSION CHAIN IN THE OHIO SIDE SPAN. THE FRACTURE WAS CAUSED BY THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CRITICAL SIZE FLAW OVER THE 40-YEAR LIFE OF THE STRUCTURE AS THE RESULT OF THE JOINT ACTION OF STRESS CORROSION AND CORROSION FATIGUE. OTHER CONTRIBUTING CAUSES FOUND ARE: (1) IN 1927, WHEN THE BRIDGE WAS DESIGNED, THE PHENOMENA OF STRESS CORROSION AND CORROSION FATIGUE WERE NOT KNOWN TO OCCUR IN THE CLASSES OF BRIDGE MATERIAL USED UNDER CONDITIONS OF EXPOSURE NORMALLY ENCOUNTERED IN RURAL AREAS. (2) FLAW LOCATION WAS INACESSIBLE TO VISUAL INSPECTION, AND (3) THE FLAW COULD NOT BE DETECTED BY AN INSPECTION METHOD KNOWN IN THE STATE OF THE ART TODAY WITHOUT DISASSEMBLY OF THE EYEBAR JOINT. /AUTHOR/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Rept No NtsB-HAR-71-1, 193 PP, 48 FIG, 39 REF, 2 APP
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20594
  • Publication Date: 1970-12

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00209451
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 2 1971 12:00AM