Bridge Pier Scour Research

The bridge pier scour research evaluation report (NCHRP 24-27 (1)) is currently being finalized. The report examines the present state of knowledge regarding bridge-pier scour, evaluates the reliability of leading current methods to provide accurate estimates of design scour depth, and recommends a structured approach to scour-depth estimation for design use. The large variation in factors potentially influencing scour at bridge sites requires an approach sufficiently comprehensive to account for the more important individual parameter influences to be considered, yet that also treats pier scour from a systems-analysis perspective when the number of parameters is too numerous, or the parameters are insufficiently independent, to be described practically in terms of a series of individual parameter influences. The objectives of this research address several research issues whose resolution should enhance the reliability of scour depth estimation. The research issues fall into several categories: (1) Fundamental processes inadequately understood. The issues primarily concern flow field capacity to erode the channel boundary, and the boundary¿s capacity to resist erosion; (2) Complicating processes inadequately understood. The issues concern flow field capacity to erode the channel boundary, and the boundary's resistance to erosion; (3) Development of reliable design methods. Testing of standard or common abutment forms subject to complicating design considerations; (4) Development of smart instrumentation and observation procedures for monitoring boundary and flow conditions at bridge waterways. The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) Hydraulics Laboratory will collaborate on this proposed research and will provide Lab capabilities and technical assistance. The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. TFHRC Hydraulics Laboratory is planning to utilize a high speed recirculation flume for the tests identified. This will allow live bed scour experiments for flow velocities up to 5 times the critical velocity for a specific selected sediment size and to study the live bed peak carefully.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $190000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Colorado Department of Transportation

    4201 East Arkansas Avenue
    Denver, CO  United States  80222

    California Department of Transportation

    1227 O Street
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95814

    Mississippi Department of Transportation

    P.O. Box 1850
    Jackson, MS  United States  39215-1850

    New York State Department of Transportation

    50 Wolf Road
    Albany, NY  United States  12232

    Florida Department of Transportation

    Research Center
    605 Suwannee Street MS-30
    Tallahassee, FL  United States  32399-0450
  • Project Managers:

    Kerenyi, Kornel

  • Start Date: 20120718
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20130317
  • Source Data: RiP Project 29791

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01467737
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Contract Numbers: TPF-5(211)
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:38PM