Level II scour analysis for Bridge 20 (IRASTH00080020) on Town Highway 8, crossing the Black River, Irasburg, Vermont

Open-File Report 96-154

Prepared in cooperation with Vermont Agency of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration



This report provides the results of a detailed Level II analysis of scour potential at structure IRASTH00080020 on town highway 8 crossing the Black River, Irasburg, Vermont (figures 1–8). A Level II study is a basic engineering analysis of the site, including a quantitative analysis of stream stability and scour (U.S. Department of Transportation, 1993). A Level I study is included in Appendix E of this report. A Level I study provides a qualitative geomorphic characterization of the study site. Information on the bridge, available from VTAOT files, was compiled prior to conducting Level I and Level II analyses and can be found in Appendix D.

The site is in the New England Upland physiographic province of north-central Vermont in the town of Irasburg. The 110-mi2 drainage area is in a predominantly rural basin. In the vicinity of the study site, the left bank surface cover is pasture and row crops and the right bank is covered by shrub and brush and is adjacent to woods.

In the study area, the Black River has a sinuous channel with a slope of approximately 0.002 ft/ft, an average channel top width of 90 ft and an average channel depth of 5 ft. The predominant channel bed material is gravel and cobbles (D50 is 49.7 mm or 0.163 ft). The geomorphic assessment at the time of the Level I and Level II site visit on October 4, 1994, indicated that the reach was laterally unstable.

The town highway 8 crossing of the Black River is a 88-ft-long, one-lane covered bridge consisting of one 80-foot span (Vermont Agency of Transportation, written commun., August 2, 1994). The bridge is supported by vertical, concrete abutments with wingwalls on the upstream and downstream sides of the right abutment. The right abutment has stone fill protection. The channel is skewed approximately 25 degrees to the opening while the opening-skew-to-roadway is zero degrees. Additional details describing conditions at the site are included in the Level II Summary and Appendices D and E.

Scour depths and rock rip-rap sizes were computed using the general guidelines described in Hydraulic Engineering Circular 18 (Richardson and others, 1993). Scour depths were calculated assuming an infinite depth of erosive material and a homogeneous particle-size distribution. The scour analysis results are presented in tables 1 and 2 and a graph of the scour depths is presented in figure 8.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Level II scour analysis for Bridge 20 (IRASTH00080020) on Town Highway 8, crossing the Black River, Irasburg, Vermont
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Pembroke, NH
iv, 28 p.
United States
Other Geospatial:
Black River