Potential-Scour Assessments at 130 Bridges in Iowa

by Edward E. Fischer, (M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


A total of 130 highway bridges in Iowa were assessed for potential scour using a potential-scour index developed by the U.S. Geological Survey for a bridge-scour study in western Tennessee. Greater values of the index, which is composed of 11 components, suggest a greater likelihood of scour-related problems occurring at a bridge. For the Iowa assessments, the minimum value was 3, the median value was 11.5, and the maximum value was 24.5. None of the 130 bridges required immediate attention with regard to installing scour countermeasures. Based on the results of the assessments, it was concluded that assessing potential scour only once at a site would be of limited benefit in the Iowa Department of Transportation's bridge inspection program. Additional information would help determine whether repeated potential-scour assessments would enhance more timely and cost-effective implementation of scour countermeasures.

Subject Headings: Scour | Highway bridges | Bridge components | Geological surveys | Bridge tests | Inspection | Bridges | United States | Iowa | Tennessee

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