Guarding Against Scour

by Peter F. Lagasse, (M.ASCE), Senior Vice President; Ayres Associates, 3665 JFK Parkway, Building 2, Suite 300, P.O. Box 270460, Fort Collins, CO 80527,
Philip L. Thompson, (M.ASCE), Chief; Hydraulics and Geotechnical Branch, Bridge Division, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC,
Scott A. Sabol, Senior Program Officer; NCHRP, Washington, DC,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 6, Pg. 56-59

Document Type: Feature article


An overview of the magnitude of the bridge scour problem in the United States is presented, using recent bridge failures to illustrate the problem. Procedures and results from the ongoing national program to evaluate all bridges over water for scour vulnerability by January 1997 are highlighted. Current practices for analyzing bridge scour are reviewed and sources of technology transfer are referenced and highlighted, including a training course on bridge scour and stream stability. Instrumentation being developed in the U.S. to monitor bridge scour is described.

Subject Headings: Scour | Bridges | Bridge-vehicle interaction | Training | River bank stabilization | Instrumentation | Bridge tests

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