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Publications—Open-File Report 97–558

Stream Stability and Scour Assessments at Bridges in Massachusetts

By Gene W. Parker, Lisa Bratton, and David S. Armstrong

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 97–558

Prepared in cooperation with the Massachusetts Highway Department.


The bridge scour application contains:

Report only; OFR 97–558 (1.635 MB) – 49 pages

Scour data base; 2 CD-ROMs


In 1989, the Federal Highway Administration mandated that every state establish a program to evaluate the vulnerability to floods of all bridges over water. The Massachusetts Highway Department entered into a cooperative effort with the U.S. Geological Survey to comply with this mandate. Geomorphic and hydraulic characteristics were collected and were used to assess the processes that affect stream stability and current scour problems and potential near 2,361 bridge sites in Massachusetts. As a result of these assessments, the Massachusetts Highway Department will prioritize the bridge inventory for action regarding scour safety. A data base was prepared that includes the geomorphic and hydraulic data collected during field assessments. In addition to the data base, this report includes the historical development of the bridge scour program, the methods used for data collection during assessments, the methods used for quality assurance and quality control, and how the data base was digitally formatted to be presented on a CD-ROM. A user's guide provides assistance in the use of this electronic data base and report.





Purpose and Scope


Data Collection and Field Procedures

Historical Data

Field Assessments

Videos, Photographs and Sketches

Field Procedures

Office Procedures

Electronic Assessment Form

Field Procedures

Office Procedures

Quality Assurance and Quality Control


Group Reviews and Multiple Aassessments

Review and Validation of Data Base

Global Positioning System Procedures

CD-ROM Users Guide

General Users Information


Accessing the Database Using the CD Application

'MENU' Window

'Massachusetts Highway Districts' Window

'Massachusetts Highway Didsstsrict (1,2,3,4, or 5)' Window

'Highway District-DATA-' Window

'Select a Bridge by Town' Window

Selected References


Unit Conversion Table


Figure 1. Standard symbols for sketches

This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Document Accessibility: Adobe Systems Incorporated has information about PDFs and the visually impaired. This information provides tools to help make PDF files accessible. These tools convert Adobe PDF documents into HTML or ASCII text, which then can be read by a number of common screen-reading programs that synthesize text as audible speech. In addition, an accessible version of Acrobat Reader 8.0 for Windows (English only), which contains support for screen readers, is available. These tools and the accessible reader may be obtained free from Adobe at Adobe Access.

Suggested Citation:
Parker, G.W., Bratton, L., and Armstrong, D.S., 1997, Stream stability and scour assessments at bridges in Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 97-588, 53 p., 2 CD-ROMs

For additional information write to:

USGS Massachusetts–Rhode Island Water Science Center
10 Bearfoot Road
Northborough, MA 01532

or visit our Web site at:

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