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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-17-013     Date:  February 2017
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-17-013
Date: February 2017


Hydraulic Performance of Shallow Foundations for The Support of Vertical-Wall Bridge Abutments


A literature review was conducted to support and guide the design of this research study. It was found that research on the performance of riprap and other materials as countermeasures for protecting bridge abutments from scour had been studied for more than four decades.

Several researchers focused specifically on riprap aprons to protect abutments. (See references 6–11.) Others investigated alternative countermeasures such as cable-tied blocks (CTBs) and geobags. (Seereferences 12–15.) These works were summarized and integrated into the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) study, Countermeasures to Protect Bridge Abutments from Scour.(16)

Subsequently, research was conducted on riprap and CTB applications.(17,18) Melville et al. investigated riprap sizing applications for abutment aprons and compared them with the available equations.(19)

More recently, others performed laboratory investigations of riprap apron failure mechanisms—in particular, edge scour.(5) Jesson et al. used physical and numerical modeling to estimate bed shear stresses.(20)

Appendix A contains the annotated literature review that is the result of the literature search.



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