Level II scour analysis for Bridge 10 (BENNUS00070010) on U.S. Route 7, crossing the Walloomsac River, Bennington, Vermont
Open-File Report 97-580
Prepared in cooperation with Vermont Agency of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration
- Scott A. Olson and Ronda L. Burns
This report provides the results of a detailed Level II analysis of scour potential at structure BENNUS00070010 on U.S. Route 7, also known as North Street, crossing of the Walloomsac River, Bennington, 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 Green Mountain section of the New England physiographic province in southwestern Vermont. The 30.1-mi2 drainage area is a predominantly rural and forested basin. The bridge site is located within an urban setting in the Town of Bennington with buildings, parking lots, lawns, and a playground on the overbank areas.
In the study area, the Walloomsac River has a straight channel with constructed channel banks through much of the reach. The channel is located on a delta and has a slope of approximately 0.02 ft/ft, an average channel top width of 37 ft and an average bank height of 5 ft. The predominant channel bed material is cobble with a median grain size (D50) of 96.0 mm (0.315 ft). The geomorphic assessment at the time of the Level I and Level II site visit on August 5, 1996, indicated that the constructed reach was stable.
The U.S. Route 7 crossing of the Walloomsac River is a 53-ft-long, two-lane bridge consisting of one 50-foot steel span (Vermont Agency of Transportation, written communication, September 27, 1995). The bridge is supported by vertical, concrete abutments with wingwalls. The wingwalls are angled in toward the channel because the widths of the upstream and downstream constructed channel banks are narrower than the bridge opening. The channel is skewed approximately 5 degrees to the opening and the opening-skew-to-roadway is 10 degrees.
Scour countermeasures at the site include masonry and stone walls on both the upstream and downstream banks. 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 computed for all modelled flows ranged from 0.0 to 0.1 ft. The worstcase contraction scour occurred at the 500-year discharge. Computed left abutment scour ranged from 5.9 to 6.8 ft. with the worst-case scour occurring at the 500-year discharge. Computed right abutment scour for all modelled flows was 6.8 ft. Total scour depths for all modelled flows did not exceed the depth of the abutment footings. 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.
Additional publication details
- Publication type:
- Publication Subtype:
- USGS Numbered Series
- Level II scour analysis for Bridge 10 (BENNUS00070010) on U.S. Route 7, crossing the Walloomsac River, Bennington, Vermont
- Series title:
- Open-File Report
- Series number:
- Year Published:
- U.S. Geological Survey
- Publisher location:
- Pembroke, NH
- iv, 50 p.
- United States
- Other Geospatial:
- Walloomsac River