SEAHIVE® solutions to mitigate bridge scour – PH 1

Scour remains the primary cause of bridge failure. It can occur locally around an abutment/pier or in between foundation elements. Scour is difficult to predict as there is no unified method based on soil properties and complex hydrological flow profiles to understand soil erodibility. Once bridges are installed, changes in the hydraulic load from the foundation obstructions constructed in the flow path, natural river meandering (i.e., direction change) or unprecedented loading from extreme events can further alter bridge scour predictions. The objective of this research project is to show a proof-of-concept of using innovative hydraulic load dissipating elements, known as SEAHIVE®. A modular engineered protection system composed of concrete perforated hexagonal prisms. Perforations on the side faces of the elements provide passage for water flow dissipating the energy within the system while also adding structural complexity which improves its potential for habitat creation. SEAHIVE® has been under research and development at the University of Miami for wave energy dissipation and habitat enhancement with three pilot installations completed. This study will investigate the performance of the SEAHIVE® system in mitigating bridge scour. This project has the potential to create a consortium-wide effort for implementing the SEAHIVE® system into practice and creating transformational change in how we design bridge foundations considering scour. It will consist of three phases at the University of Miami. The first one (year one) will be devoted to the characterization and production of the SEAHIVE® elements using industrialized technologies. The research team has currently identified four possible methods to manufacture SEAHIVE® elements. The first-year phase one will focus on externally prestressed elements given the mass production and scaling-up advantage. Externally prestressed (by Glass FRP rovings) units produced by dry cast with the same equipment used to produce concrete pipes. The most significant advantages of this construction method are a) speed of production of fully cured units at a rate of five or more per hour; b) elimination of internal reinforcement; and, c) the leanest possible concrete mixture. The unit’s length would be limited to a maximum of Other potential fabrication techniques include, precast internally reinforced wet-cast or longitudinally prestressed production based on existing pile production methods for longer units, and 3D construction printing for more complex multi-unit combinations. Texas State University will focus on evaluating the potential for bridge scour mitigation in highly erodible sediment in year one. This will be achieved using flume tests and a calibrated numerical model. A coupled hydrodynamic-morphodynamic model in Open FOAM will be first used to optimize the SEAHIVE® element for bridge scour energy dissipation. A model test in the flume will then be conducted on the optimized SEAHIVE® monopile element with several layers of instrumentation. This model will then be calibrated with the monopile flume data. The team will then consider two additional experimental setups: a SEAHIVE® skirt around the monopile and SEAHIVE® riprap against the monopile. Again, these data will be used to calibrate the model, to numerically investigate the efficacy of SEAHIVE elements in suppressing scour under different flow conditions, and to optimize the configuration and number of SEAHIVE® elements.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $467279
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      Coastal Research and Education Actions for Transportation Equity

      Texas State University
      San Marcos, TX  United States  77666
    • Managing Organizations:

      Coastal Research and Education Actions for Transportation Equity

      Texas State University
      San Marcos, TX  United States  77666
    • Project Managers:

      Bruner, Britain

      Kulesza, Stacey

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Miami

      1320 S. Dixie Highway
      Ste. 650
      Coral Gables, FL  United States  33146

      Coastal Research and Education Actions for Transportation Equity

      Texas State University
      San Marcos, TX  United States  77666
    • Principal Investigators:

      Nanni, Antonio

      Faroughi, Salah

      Barbarigos, Landolf

      Kulesza, Stacey

    • Start Date: 20230901
    • Expected Completion Date: 20241231
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01895141
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Coastal Research and Education Actions for Transportation Equity
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Oct 2 2023 8:47PM