Performance of Existing Methods for Estimation and Mitigation of Local Scour around Bridges: Case Studies

Bridge scour is a phenomenon that describes the loss of riverbed sediments around bridge supports because of flow, and it has been identified as one of the leading causes of bridge failures. The aim of this study is to investigate the performance of existing methods for estimation and mitigation of local scour using calculated and measured results. The present comparison between design methods in the United States and China show their own characteristics and deficiencies. The influence of pier width and sediment parameters on scour development was first analyzed. The predictive equation widely used in the United States and the design standards used in China were compared. In total, 796 data records collected from field projects were used to evaluate the accuracy and behavior of scour estimation models. The performance of these scour estimation methods are discussed regarding different ranges of parameters separately. Existing models used in design standards in the United States and China are found to perform unsatisfactorily, especially for large piers or piers with a small or large ratio of pier width to particle size. Under such conditions, the equations by these standards tend to significantly overestimate the scour depth. However, an appropriately designed countermeasure can provide reliable protection. Both scour estimation and mitigation are important to avoid bridge failures in practice. Case studies on Sutong Bridge and Houfeng Bridge in China have been carried out to highlight these key strategies for bridge design, construction, and long-term service.


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  • Accession Number: 01720487
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Aug 20 2019 3:03PM