American Society of Civil Engineers

Review of the Hydraulic Capacity of Bridges in a Coastal Area

by E. Vazquez-Fernandez, (Prof., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., UNAM, CU, AP 70-472, CP 04510, Mexico, DF. E-mail: and J. Gracia-Sanchez, (Researcher, Inst. of Engrg., UNAM, CU, AP 70-472, CP 04510, Mexico, DF. E-mail:

Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 131, No. 6, June 2005, pp. 517-520, (doi:

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: This technical note presents an analysis of the hydraulic capacity of several bridges in a coastal area in Mexico, following cyclonic floods. The heights and lengths of the bridges and the flow rates of the rivers were the comparison parameters used. The analysis showed that for floods occurring within a 100-year return period these bridges were insufficient in length and/or height. A comparative graph shows that the failed and nonfailed bridges are clearly separated by a tendency line and its equation was obtained. Without intending this equation to be taken as a universal rule, its application could be a useful point of departure in reviewing the design of bridges in coastal areas.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Bridge failures
Coastal environment
Hydraulic design