Level II scour analysis for Bridge 46 (LINCTH00060046) on Town Highway 6, crossing the New Haven River, Lincoln, Vermont
Open-File Report 98-23
Prepared in cooperation with Vermont Agency of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration
- Emily C. Wild
This report provides the results of a detailed Level II analysis of scour potential at structure LINCTH00060046 on Town Highway 6 crossing the New Haven River, Lincoln, 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 (FHWA, 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 west-central Vermont. The 45.9-mi2 drainage area is in a predominantly suburban and forested basin. In the vicinity of the study site, the surface cover is forest upstream of the bridge. The downstream right overbank near the bridge is suburban with buildings, homes, lawns, and pavement (less than fifty percent). The downstream left overbank is brushland while the immediate banks have dense woody vegetation.
In the study area, the New Haven River has an incised, sinuous channel with a slope of approximately 0.01 ft/ft, an average channel top width of 95 ft and an average bank height of 7 ft. The channel bed material ranges from sand to bedrock with a median grain size (D50) of 120.7 mm (0.396 ft). The geomorphic assessment at the time of the Level I and Level II site visit on June 13, 1996, indicated that the reach was stable.
The Town Highway 34 crossing of the New Haven River is a 85-ft-long, two-lane bridge consisting of an 80-foot steel arch truss (Vermont Agency of Transportation, written communication, December 14, 1995). The opening length of the structure parallel to the bridge face is 69 feet. The bridge is supported by vertical, concrete abutments with wingwalls. The channel is skewed approximately 25 degrees to the opening while the opening-skew-to-roadway is 5 degrees.
A scour hole 2.0 ft deeper than the mean thalweg depth was observed in the downstream channel during the Level I assessment. Protection measures at the site include type-1 stone fill (less than 12 inches diameter) at the upstream left wingwall, type-2 stone fill (less than 36 inches diameter) at the downstream end of the downstream left wingwall, and type-3 stone fill (less than 48 inches diameter) at the upstream right wingwall and the downstream end of the downstream right wingwall. 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 Davis, 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 1.7 ft. The worst-case contraction scour occurred at the incipient roadway-overtopping discharge. Left abutment scour ranged from 12.9 to 17.8 ft. Right abutment scour ranged from 5.9 to 11.9 ft. The worst-case 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 Davis, 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 46 (LINCTH00060046) on Town Highway 6, crossing the New Haven River, Lincoln, Vermont
- Series title:
- Open-File Report
- Series number:
- Year Published:
- U.S. Geological Survey
- Publisher location:
- Pembroke, NH
- iv, 51 p.
- United States