The evaluation of scour at bridges throughout the State of Missouri has been ongoing since 1991, and most of these evaluations have used one-dimensional hydraulic analysis and application of conventional scour depth prediction equations. Occasionally, the complex conditions of a site dictate a more thorough assessment of the stream hydraulics beyond a one-dimensional model. This was the case for structure A-1700, the Interstate 155 bridge crossing the Mississippi River near Caruthersville, Missouri. To assess the complex hydraulics at this site, a two-dimensional hydrodynamic flow model was used to simulate flow conditions on the Mississippi River in the vicinity of the Interstate 155 structure A-1700. The model was used to simulate flow conditions for three discharges: a flood that occurred on April 4, 1975 (the calibration flood), which had a discharge of 1,658,000 cubic feet per second; the 100-year flood, which has a discharge of 1,960,000 cubic feet per second; and the project design flood, which has a discharge of 1,974,000 cubic feet per second. The project design flood was essentially equivalent to the flood that would cause impending overtopping of the mainline levees along the Mississippi River in the vicinity of structure A-1700. Discharge and river-stage readings from the flood of April 4, 1975, were used to calibrate the flow model. The model was then used to simulate the 100-year and project design floods.
Hydraulic flow parameters obtained from the three flow simulations were applied to scour depth prediction equations to determine contraction, local pier, and abutment scour depths at structure A-1700. Contraction scour and local pier scour depths computed for the project design discharge generally were the greatest, whereas the depths computed for the calibration flood were the least. The maximum predicted total scour depth (contraction and local pier scour) for the calibration flood was 66.1 feet; for the 100-year flood, the maximum predicted total scour depth was 74.6 feet; for the project design flood, the maximum predicted total scour depth was 93.0 feet. If scour protection did not exist, bent 14 and piers 15 through 21 would be substantially exposed or undermined by the predicted total scour depths in all of the flood simulations. However, piers 18 through 21 have a riprap blanket around the base of each, and the riprap blanket observed on the right bank around bent 14 is thought to extend around the base of pier 15, which would limit the amount of scour that would occur at these piers. Furthermore, the footings and caissons that are not exposed by computed contraction scour may arrest local pier scour, which will limit local pier scour at several bents and piers. Nevertheless, main-channel piers 16 and 17 and all of the bents on the left (as viewed facing downstream) overbank are moderately to substantially exposed by the predicted scour depths from the three flood simulations, and there is no known scour protection at these piers or bents. Abutment scour depths were computed for structure A-1700, but abutment scour is expected to be mitigated by the presence of guidebanks upstream from the bridge abutments, as well as riprap revetment on the abutment and guidebank faces.