A critical evaluation of bridge scour for Michigan specific conditions

Wayne State University's Department of Civil Engineering has partnered with Lawrence Technological University’s Department of Civil Engineering for a critical evaluation of bridge scour in Michigan specific conditions. The objective of this research is to improve the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) bridge scour prediction capability. This objective will be accomplished through calibration and/or modifying scour prediction equations for Michigan specific conditions. Upon calibration, the scour prediction procedure will allow MDOT to more accurately predict bridge scour and subsequently more efficiently and confidently design new bridge crossings and/or modify existing bridges.

The research plan consists of the four tasks specified by MDOT – Literature Review, Evaluate MDOT’s Current Scour Evaluation Procedures, Review Scour Evaluation Methods Utilized by Other States, and Calibrate Scour Prediction Equations for Michigan Specific Conditions. Scour is the hole left behind when sediment is washed away from the bottom of a river. The resulting scour is especially strong during floods when swiftly flowing water has more energy to lift and carry sediment down river. When sediment is washed away from bridge supports, it is possible a bridge could become unsafe for travel. Funding Source: Michigan Department of Transportation

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