Level II scour analysis for Bridge 18 (SHEFTH00410018) on Town Highway 41, crossing Millers Run, Sheffield, Vermont
Open-File Report 97-772
Prepared in cooperation with Vermont Agency of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration
- Emily C. Wild and Erick M. Boehmler
This report provides the results of a detailed Level II analysis of scour potential at structure SHEFTH00410018 on Town Highway 41 crossing Millers Run, Sheffield, 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 White Mountain section of the New England physiographic province in northeastern Vermont. The 16.2-mi2 drainage area is in a predominantly rural and forested basin. In the vicinity of the study site, the surface cover is grass upstream and downstream of the bridge while the immediate banks have dense woody vegetation.
In the study area, Millers Run has an incised, straight channel with a slope of approximately 0.01 ft/ft, an average channel top width of 50 ft and an average bank height of 6 ft. The channel bed material ranges from sand to boulder with a median grain size (D50) of 50.9 mm (0.167 ft). The geomorphic assessment at the time of the Level I and Level II site visit on August 1, 1995, indicated that the reach was laterally unstable, which is evident in the moderate to severe fluvial erosion in the upstream reach.
The Town Highway 41 crossing of the Millers Run is a 30-ft-long, one-lane bridge consisting of a 28-foot steel-stringer span (Vermont Agency of Transportation, written communication, March 28, 1995). The opening length of the structure parallel to the bridge face is 22.2 ft. The bridge is supported by vertical, concrete abutments with wingwalls. The channel is skewed approximately 20 degrees to the opening. The computed opening-skewto-roadway is 5 degrees, while it is zero degrees in the historical form.
A scour hole 1.0 ft deeper than the mean thalweg depth was observed along the left abutment during the Level I assessment. The scour protection measure at the site includes type-1 stone fill (less than 12 inches diameter) along the upstream right wingwall and the upstream left wingwall. Type-2 stone fill (less than 36 inches diameter) extends along the downstream end of the downstream left wingwall, the upstream right bank and the downstream left bank. The downstream right bank is protected by type-2 stone fill and a stone masonry wall. 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) for the 100- and 500-year discharges. In addition, the incipient roadway-overtopping discharge is determined and analyzed as another potential worst-case scour scenario. 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 0.2 to 1.8 ft. The worst-case contraction scour occurred at the 100-year and 500-year discharges. Left abutment scour ranged from 14.1 to 16.4 ft. The worst-case left abutment scour occurred at the 500-year discharge. Right abutment scour ranged from 6.9 to 9.3 ft. The worst-case right abutment scour occurred at the incipient roadway-overtopping 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.
Additional publication details
- Publication type:
- Publication Subtype:
- USGS Numbered Series
- Level II scour analysis for Bridge 18 (SHEFTH00410018) on Town Highway 41, crossing Millers Run, Sheffield, Vermont
- Series title:
- Open-File Report
- Series number:
- Year Published:
- U.S. Geological Survey
- Publisher location:
- Pembroke, NH
- iv, 51 p.
- United States
- Other Geospatial:
- Millers Run