Bridge Scour Vulnerability Assessment

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by Lawrence J. Harrison, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, United States,
Johnny L. Morris, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering:

Abstract: Although the failure of the New York Throughway bridge over Schoharie Creek in 1987 has focused national attention on scour related failures, other failures reinforce the need for implementing a program to identify scour critical bridges. In 1988, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published Technical Advisory 5140.20 entitled 'Scour at Bridges' which recommends that every bridge over a scourable stream be evaluated for its vulnerability to scour. In this advisory, FHWA gives a five-step procedure for developing a scour evaluation program by: establishing an interdisciplinary team of hydraulic, geotechnical, and structural engineers; designing new bridges to withstand the effects of scour from a superflood i.e. a 500-year flood; evaluating all existing bridges for the risk of scour failure from such a superflood; developing a plan of action for scour critical bridges; and inspecting all bridges for scour related problems.

Subject Headings: Scour | Bridge tests | Bridge design | Bridge failures | Failure analysis | Hydraulic design | Federal government | North America | United States | New York

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