Bridge pier scour is a major concern; it is a dynamic phenomenon that varies with water depth and angle of flow, pier shape and width, and other factors. If scour at a pier can affect the stability of a bridge, countermeasures to protect the pier should be considered. The current design philosophy in the Hydraulic Engineering Circular No. 18 (HEC-18) to estimate scour at bridge piers does not recommend using countermeasures to protect the pier as part of the design. The reason for this approach is that important data to evaluate the performance of countermeasures on a continuing basis is missing. Comprehensive data on monitoring the performance of scour countermeasures for pier protection is needed before a change in design philosophy can be considered.
The key project objective of this research is to start developing comprehensive data to assess the long-term performance of scour countermeasures for bridge foundation protection.