Pier Stabilization Eliminates Need to Reconstruct Damaged Bridge

by Peter B. Tubbs, Engr.; E. C. Jordan Co., Portland, Maine,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1983, Vol. 53, Issue 11, Pg. 58-59

Document Type: Feature article

Errata: (See full record)


After an ice jam near a six-span bridge restricted normal water passage, the ensueing high velocity water caused underscouring of one of the piers, leaving it ineffective as a bridge support. Timber cribbing was installed as temporary shoring to support the two adjacent spans of the bridge, which allowed light maintenance vehicles to pass. After structural investigations were conducted, stabilizing the pier foundation was recommended instead of replacing the pier or modifying the two effected bridge spans. The effected pier was stabilized through innovative underwater work and new bearing pedestals were constructed on top of the pier to support the superstructure. The approach required less time than replacement and saved the client –50,000.

Subject Headings: Piers | Damage (structural) | Bridges | Bridge foundations | Ice jams | Fluid velocity | Water level | Scour

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