Do You Remember the Schoharie Creek Bridge Collapse That Happened 29 Years Ago This Week
It was April 5th, 1987. The Schoharie Creek Bridge was a New York State Thruway bridge over the Schoharie Creek near Fort Hunter and the Mohawk River. On this day the bridge would collapse killing ten people.
The Schoharie Creek Bridge began full service beginning in October 1954. Almost a year after opening, the bridge was damaged by flood waters. The big collapse would happen 30 years later.
On the morning of April 5th. during a high spring flood, the bridge collapsed.
Pier three was the first to collapse, which caused the progressive collapse of spans three and four. Ninety minutes later pier two and span two collapsed. Two hours later pier one and span one shifted. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation suggested that pier two collapsed because the wreckage of pier three and the two spans may have partially blocked the river, redirecting and increasing the velocity of the flow of water to pier two."
The failure of the bridge lead to improvement in bridge design and inspection procedures. Those ten lives have led to the safety of many others due to this terrible accident.