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Level II scour analysis for Bridge 28 (CAMBTH00460028) on Town Highway 46, crossing the Seymour River, Cambridge, Vermont

January 1, 1997

This report provides the results of a detailed Level II analysis of scour potential at structure
CAMBTH00460028 on Town Highway 46 crossing the Seymour River, Cambridge,
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
northwestern Vermont. The 9.94-mi2
drainage area is in a predominantly rural and forested
basin. In the vicinity of the study site, the surface cover is pasture while the immediate
banks have dense woody vegetation.

In the study area, the Seymour River has an incised, straight channel with a slope of
approximately 0.02 ft/ft, an average channel top width of 81 ft and an average bank height
of 5 ft. The channel bed material ranges from gravel to boulder with a median grain size
(D50) of 62.0 mm (0.204 ft). The geomorphic assessment at the time of the Level I and
Level II site visit on July 11, 1995, indicated that the reach was stable.

The Town Highway 46 crossing of the Seymour River is a 38-ft-long, one-lane bridge
consisting of one 33-foot steel-beam span (Vermont Agency of Transportation, written
communication, March 8, 1995). The opening length of the structure parallel to the bridge
face is 30.6 ft.The bridge is supported by vertical, concrete abutments with wingwalls. The
channel is skewed approximately 5 degrees to the opening while the measured opening-skew-to-roadway is 10 degrees.

A scour hole 0.2 ft deeper than the mean thalweg depth was observed along the upstream
right wingwall and right abutment during the Level I assessment. The only scour protection
measure at the site was type-1 stone fill (less than 12 inches diameter) along the upstream
left road 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)
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 0.0 to 0.8 ft. The worst-case
contraction scour occurred at the incipient roadway-overtopping discharge. Left abutment
scour ranged from 4.2 to 4.9 ft. The worst-case left abutment scour occurred at the 500-year
discharge. Right abutment scour ranged from 8.8 to 9.7 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.

Publication Year 1997
Title Level II scour analysis for Bridge 28 (CAMBTH00460028) on Town Highway 46, crossing the Seymour River, Cambridge, Vermont
DOI 10.3133/ofr97648
Authors Michael A. Ivanoff
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 97-648
Index ID ofr97648
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse