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15-02 — Bridge Scour Risk Management

Flooding and scour are recognized by the bridge community as the leading cause of bridge failures in the United States. About 83 percent of the structures listed in the National Bridge Inventory cross waterways and are thereby exposed to the threats of flooding and scour.

Agencies responsible for bridge safety seek effective threat-mitigation strategies, including installation of scour countermeasures to monitor, control, inhibit, change, delay, or minimize stream instability and bridge-scour susceptibility.

This scan examines practices of states, counties, metropolitan areas, municipalities and other transportation agencies, to identify and document successful approaches to reducing bridge flooding and scour risk through appropriate use of countermeasures. The scan also considers how innovative bridge owners assess structural vulnerability or bridge scour susceptibility.

QR to 15-02 scan page.

Scan Results and Report


Implementation and Impact

Following the scan workshop in summer of 2015, the scan team worked at the state and national levels to advance scan findings. Highlights of these activities include:

  • The team members presented findings from the scan to a number of national-level audiences. Examples include the TRB Committee on General Structures, the AASHTO (T-15) Committee on Substructures and Retaining Wall, AASHTO (T-1) Committee for Bridge Security and Hazards, and the National Bridge Preservation Meeting.
  • Scan member Stephanie Doolittle presented at the Louisiana Transportation Conference held on March 3, 2020.
  • Scan Chair Beckie Curtis moderated a webinar on bridge scour held on July 28, 2020. Presenters included Chad Skrocki (Michigan DOT), Nicole Bartelt (Minnesota DOT), and Jake Legler (Idaho Transportation Department)


Scan team Chair Beckie Curtis of Michigan State DOT and scan participants, conducted a TRB hosted webinar in July 2020 which presented highlights, findings and insights on best practices on bridge scour risk management.

Click below to view webinar description and slides.

Rebecca Curtis, MDOT’s bridge management engineer and chair of the scan team, worked with the Michigan Tech Research Institute to plan and host a one-day conference in Lansing in October 2017 dedicated to bridge scour risk management.

A one-page scan overview was created to provide a brief summary on the highlights of the scan.

Scan chair Rebecca Curtis provided perspectives on the scan outcomes on the final day of the scan:

Scan Members

  • Rebecca Curtis, Michigan DOT, AASHTO Chair
  • Jon Bischoff, Utah DOT
  • Stephanie Cavalier, Lousiana DOTD
  • Hannah Cheng, New Jersey DOT
  • Kevin Flora, Caltrans
  • Rick Marz, Wisconsin DOT
  • Hani Nassif, Rutgers, Subject Matter Expert

Workshop Participants

This scan was held as a workshop in San Diego, CA from July 24 to July 30, 2016. In addition to the scan team, workshop participants included:

  • Caltrans
  • Colorado DOT
  • Florida DOT
  • Iowa DOT
  • Idaho DOT
  • Louisiana DOTD
  • Michigan DOT
  • Minnesota DOT
  • Missouri DOT
  • Mississippi DOT
  • New York State DOT
  • Pennsylvania DOT
  • Tennessee DOT
  • Texas DOT

photo for website
Left to Right: Rebecca Curtis, Xiaohua “Hanna” Cheng, Hani Nassif, Kevin Flora, Jon Bischoff, Rick Marz, Stephanie Cavalier