Assessment and Implications of Local Channel Instability on the Prediction of Bridge Scour

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by Thomas M. Heil,
Peggy A. Johnson,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water:

Abstract: Current assessments of the potential for scour at existing and new bridges do not include the effects of local channel instability on predicted bridge scour estimates. Local channel instability is assessed by recognizing the effects of these instabilities inherent in the individual parameters within the scour prediction model. Through the use of a reliability and sensitivity analysis, an estimate of the probability of failure (Pf), due to local and contraction scour at bridge piers, is determined. The resulting Pf can be compared to other probability of failure estimates to assess the need and timing for remedial repair estimates. Additionally, the Pf (coupled with other transportation criteria) may be used to rank and prioritize remedial repair activities between competing bridge structures. An example is presented in which the Pf is computed for a completed bridge scour evaluation, the implication of channel instability in channel discharge and flow depth is assessed, and the prioritization of the structure for remedial repair is examined.

Subject Headings: Scour | Bridge tests | Sensitivity analysis | Failure analysis | Remediation | Probability | Rehabilitation |

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