This report provides the results of a detailed Level II analysis of scour potential at structure
HUNTTH00220030 on Town Highway 22 crossing Brush Brook, Huntington, 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
central Vermont. The 4.98-mi2
drainage area is in a predominantly rural and forested basin.
In the vicinity of the study site, the surface cover is forest.
In the study area, Brush Brook has an incised, straight channel with a slope of
approximately 0.06 ft/ft, an average channel top width of 49 ft and an average bank height
of 9 ft. The channel bed material ranges from sand to boulders with a median grain size
(D50) of 206 mm (0.675 ft). The geomorphic assessment at the time of the Level I and Level
II site visit on June 25, 1996, indicated that the reach was stable.
The Town Highway 22 crossing of Brush Brook is a 30-ft-long, one-lane bridge consisting
of one 27-foot steel-beam span (Vermont Agency of Transportation, written
communication, December 12, 1995). The opening length of the structure parallel to the
bridge face is 25.6 ft. The bridge is supported by vertical, concrete abutments. The channel
is skewed approximately zero degrees to the opening while the computed opening-skew-toroadway is 15 degrees.
A scour hole 1 ft deeper than the mean thalweg was observed along the left abutment during
the Level I assessment. The left abutment footing is exposed and undermined. The only
scour countermeasure noted at the site was type-2 stone fill (less than 36 inches diameter)
along the downstream left road approach embankment. 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
Contraction scour for all modelled flows was zero. Abutment scour ranged from 7.8 to 10.1
ft. The worst-case abutment scour occurred at the 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
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Level II scour analysis for Bridge 30, (HUNTTH00220030), on Town Highway 22, crossing Brush Brook, Huntington, Vermont