American Society of Civil Engineers

Case Study: Retrofitting Large Bridge Piers on the Nakdong River, South Korea

by S. K. Park, M.ASCE, (Prof., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Pusan Natl. Univ., Busan, South Korea. E-mail: and P. Y. Julien, M.ASCE, (Prof., Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Colorado State Univ., Ft. Collins, CO 80523. E-mail:

Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 134, No. 11, November 2008, pp. 1639-1650, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The Gupo Bridge crosses the Nakdong River near the city of Busan, South Korea. During Typhoon Maemi in 2003, the old Gupo Bridge collapsed due to excessive pier scour. More recently, the highway construction on the left-bank floodplain required right-bank channel widening to restore the channel flood-carrying capacity. This 7 m deep floodplain excavation is expected to cause significant local scour around the 8 — 10 m wide and 3 m thick spread footings of Piers 11 and 12 of the Subway Bridge and Piers 15 and 16 of the Gupo Bridge. Three design options are examined for retrofitting floodplain bridge piers with massive spread footings. A solution with sheet piles and riprap was recommended in 2006 as the most appropriate design, but Plan III with a conical riprap structure around the footings was ultimately constructed in 2007 for economic reasons. Laboratory experiments also highlight the need to place gravel and synthetic filters under the designed riprap.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Bridge failures
Case studies