Investigation of Pier Scour in Coarse-Bed Streams in Montana, 2001 through 2007
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Investigation of Pier Scour in Coarse-Bed Streams in Montana, 2001 through 2007

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      NTL-HIGHWAY/ROAD TRANSPORTATION-Bridges and Structures
    • Abstract:
      Determination of pier-scour potential is an important consideration in the hydraulic analysis and design of highway bridges that cross streams, rivers, and other waterways in the United States. A primary goal of ongoing research in the field of bridge scour is to improve scour-prediction equations so that pier-scour depth is neither underpredicted nor excessively overpredicted. Scour depth for piers in noncohesive, nonuniform streambeds with a mixture of sand, gravel, cobbles, and boulders (coarse-bed streams) generally is less than the scour depth in finer-grained (mostly sand) streambeds under similar hydraulic conditions. The difference in scour depth is attributed to formation of an armor layer. Pier-scour data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey were used to develop a bed-material correction factor called K4. The equation recommended by the Federal Highway Administration for computing pier scour is a version of the HEC-18 pier-scour equation that includes K4, which is referred to in this report as the HEC-18-K4Mu equation. The Montana Department of Transportation was interested in pier-scour prediction in coarse-bed streams because coarse-bed streams are common in Montana. Consequently, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Montana Department of Transportation began a cooperative study in 2001 to investigate pier scour in coarse-bed streams in Montana
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