Level II scour analysis for Bridge 44 (CHESVT00110044) on State Route 11, crossing Andover Brook, Chester, Vermont

Open-File Report 97-378

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 CHESVT00110044 on State Route 11 crossing Andover Brook, Chester, 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). Results of a Level I scour investigation also are included in Appendix E of this report. A Level I investigation provides a qualitative geomorphic characterization of the study site. Information on the bridge, gleaned from Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTAOT) files, was compiled prior to conducting Level I and Level II analyses and is found in Appendix D.

The site is in the New England Upland section of the New England physiographic province in southeastern Vermont. The 12.6-mi2 drainage area is in a predominantly rural and forested basin. In the vicinity of the study site, the surface cover is pasture with dense woody vegetation on the immediate banks except the downstream left bank of the bridge which is forested.

In the study area, Andover Brook has an incised, meandering channel with a slope of approximately 0.02 ft/ft, an average channel top width of 74 ft and an average bank height of 8 ft. The channel bed material ranges from gravel to boulder with a median grain size (D50) of 83.6 mm (0.274 ft). The geomorphic assessment at the time of the Level I and Level II site visit on September 11, 1996, indicated that the reach was stable.

The State Route 11 crossing of Andover Brook is a 58-ft-long, two-lane bridge consisting of one 56-foot concrete T-beam span (Vermont Agency of Transportation, written communication, March 29, 1995). The opening length of the structure parallel to the bridge face is 52.9 ft.The bridge is supported by vertical, concrete abutments with wingwalls. The channel is skewed approximately 35 degrees to the opening while the opening-skew-to-roadway is 45 degrees.

A scour hole 1.8 ft deeper than the mean thalweg depth was observed along the upstream left wingwall and left abutment during the Level I assessment. The scour protection measures at the site included type-4 stone fill (less than 60 inches diameter) along the upstream left bank between the wingwall and a concrete wall. There was type-2 stone fill (less than 36 inches diameter) along the entire base of the upstream left wingwall, and the downstream end of the downstream right wingwall. There was type-1 stone fill (less than 12 inches diameter) at the downstream end of the downstream left wingwall. There was also a concrete wall along the upstream left bank from 18 to 50 ft upstream of the bridge. Additional details describing conditions at the site are included in the Level II Summary and Appendices D and E.

Scour depths and recommended rock rip-rap sizes were computed using the general guidelines described in Hydraulic Engineering Circular 18 (Richardson and others, 1995). Total scour at a highway crossing is comprised of three components: 1) long-term streambed degradation; 2) contraction scour (due to accelerated flow caused by a reduction in flow area at a bridge) and; 3) local scour (caused by accelerated flow around piers and abutments). Total scour is the sum of the three components. Equations are available to compute depths for contraction and local scour and a summary of the results of these computations follows.

Contraction scour for all modelled flows ranged from 0.0 to 1.2 ft. The worst-case contraction scour occurred at the incipient-overtopping discharge. The incipientovertopping discharge is 520 cfs less than the 100-year discharge. Left abutment scour ranged from 16.4 to 20.9 ft. The worst-case left abutment scour occurred at the 500-year discharge. Right abutment scour ranged from 8.4 to 9.4 ft. The worst-case right abutment scour occurred at both the 100-year and 500-year discharge. Additional information on scour depths and depths to armoring are included in the section titled “Scour Results”. Scoured-streambed elevations, based on the calculated scour depths, are presented in tables 1 and 2. A cross-section of the scour computed at the bridge is presented in figure 8. Scour depths were calculated assuming an infinite depth of erosive material and a homogeneous particle-size distribution.

It is generally accepted that the Froehlich equation (abutment scour) gives “excessively conservative estimates of scour depths” (Richardson and others, 1995, p. 47). Usually, computed scour depths are evaluated in combination with other information including (but not limited to) historical performance during flood events, the geomorphic stability assessment, existing scour protection measures, and the results of the hydraulic analyses. Therefore, scour depths adopted by VTAOT may differ from the computed values documented herein.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Level II scour analysis for Bridge 44 (CHESVT00110044) on State Route 11, crossing Andover Brook, Chester, Vermont
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Suvery
Publisher location:
Pembroke, NH
iv, 51 p.
United States
Other Geospatial:
Andover Brook