Predicting Critical Scour Stage at Bridges

by John N. Paine, Huston & Associates Inc, Williamsburg, United States,
Darrell Kim Beatley, Huston & Associates Inc, Williamsburg, United States,
James N. Wigfield, Huston & Associates Inc, Williamsburg, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


After an initial level I screening process, most level II bridge scour studies result in recommendations for costly scour countermeasures. Typically, existing transportation budgets cannot accommodate the total demand for funds. Transportation officials are not charged with a the task of scheduling the improvements while safeguarding the public. The Virginia Department of Transportation follows a procedure in which monitoring is he initial countermeasure. An engineering analysis establishes a water surface elevation for bridge closure. This water surface elevation is called the critical scour stage. If the critical scour stage is met or exceeded, the bridge will be closed to traffic until a scour inspection can be performed. The procedure described in this paper is based on equations prescribed in HEC-18 (Richardson et al., 1991).

Subject Headings: Scour | Bridges | Traffic models | Hydraulic models | Budgets | Scheduling | Transportation safety | Public transportation | Alabama | United States

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