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Public Roads - Summer 2022

Summer 2022
Issue No:
Vol. 86 No. 2
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Training Update

Scour and Stability Highway Bridge Trainings are Now Virtual

by Stan Woronick and Sabrina Sylvester
"A photo of a scalloped column bridge over a body of water. Image Source: © 2015. Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock."
Online NHI training provides transportation professionals with courses on bridge scour and stream stability.
"Logo of the National Highway Institute. Image Source: FHWA."

President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law or BIL, on November 15, 2021. This statute supports investment in infrastructure, which includes roads, highways, and bridges.

As we work toward cultivating the Nation’s infrastructure, improving the stability and structure of highway bridges is imperative to the safety of our community. The Federal Highway Administration’s National Highway Institute (NHI) has converted three comprehensive courses into an online format. The courses will provide transportation professionals with the best methods to create stable and sustainable highway bridges.

Achieving Stream Stability and Scour Success on our Nation’s Highway Bridges

NHI now offers three virtual instructor-led trainings (VILTs) for bridge inspectors and engineers that focus on the various scour and stream instability concepts, analysis techniques, and scour countermeasure designs for the riverine and bridge environment. The VILTs will explain how to identify countermeasures for stream instability and scour, and also describe a Plan of Action for scour critical bridges. These VILTs will provide transportation professionals with the knowledge to effectively improve highway bridge structures.

Stream Stability and Scour at Highway Bridges (FHWA-NHI-135046V)

This comprehensive, virtual training provides methods to identify, analyze, and calculate various hydraulic factors that impact bridge stability. During the course, learners will identify stream types, recognize indicators of instability issues, and conduct an analysis of stream stability. They will also define and compute various types of scour, describe a Plan of Action for scour critical bridges, and describe open-channel hydraulics concepts in bridge scour and stream stability.

Stream Stability and Scour at Highway Bridges for Bridge Inspectors (FHWA-MHI-135047V)

Designed specifically for bridge inspectors, this online hydraulics course is a concentrated version of Stream Stability and Scour at Highway Bridges (FHWA-NHI-135046V). This course explains how to detect hydraulic-related issues at highway bridges. Participants will learn the effects of steam instability, scour, erosion, and stream aggradation and degradation, as well as identifying effective scour countermeasures. The training focuses on visual cues to detecting scour and stream instability problems and introduces portable scour monitoring instrumentation. Participants have the option of taking the course independently or as a group. 

Countermeasure Design for Bridge Scour and Stream Instability (FHWA-NHI-135048V)

This course provides an overview of scour countermeasures for stream instability and scour. Participants will learn how to correct stream instability and scour issues and apply hydraulics analysis techniques to countermeasure design to reduce the risk of scour to the Nation’s bridges. 

Prerequisite Information

Course participants should be familiar with the fundamentals of stream stability and scour before taking any of the virtual instructor-led hydraulics courses listed. Consequently, NHI offers the following Web-based, on demand training at no cost to participants, as prerequisite courses:

  • Stream Stability Factors and Concepts (FHWA-NHI-135086)
  • Scour at Highway Bridges: Concepts and Definitions (FHWA-NHI-135087)

How to Attend or Host a Course

NHI invites professionals interested in earning continuing education units or professional development hours to visit and browse the complete digital course catalog. The catalog lists over 400 courses in 19 program areas. 

To sign up for email alerts and to see when a particular course session is available, visit the description page for that course and then click on the “Sign Up for Session Alerts” link. 

Interested hosts can submit a host request form or find more information about hosting NHI courses by visiting

NHI is an approved Accredited Provider by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). As an IACET Accredited Provider, NHI offers continuing education units for its programs that qualify under the American National Standards Institute/IACET Standard.

Stan Woronick is a training program manager for hydraulics at NHI.

Sabrina Sylvester is a contracted senior marketing specialist for FHWA’s NHI.