Level II scour analysis for Bridge 42 (RANDVT00120042) on State Highway 12, crossing Third Branch White River, Randolph, Vermont

Open-File Report 96-187
Prepared in cooperation with Vermont Agency of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration
By:  and 



This report provides the results of a detailed Level II analysis of scour potential at structure RANDVT00120042 on State Highway 12 crossing the Third Branch White River, Randolph, Vermont (figures 1–8). A Level II study is a basic engineering analysis of the site, including a quantitative analysis of stream stability and scour (U.S. Department of Transportation, 1993). A Level I study is included in Appendix E of this report. A Level I study provides a qualitative geomorphic characterization of the study site. Information on the bridge available from VTAOT files was compiled prior to conducting Level I and Level II analyses and can be found in Appendix D.

The site is in the Green Mountain physiographic division of central Vermont in the town of Randolph. The 61.9-mi2 drainage area is in a predominantly rural drainage basin. In the vicinity of the study site, the left and right banks have moderate tree cover with residential and commercial buildings on the overbank areas.

In the study area, the Third Branch White River has a sinuous channel with a slope of approximately 0.013 ft/ft, an average channel top width of 133 ft and an average channel depth of 5 ft. The predominant channel bed material is gravel with a median grain size ( D50) of 49.6 mm (0.163 ft). Bank material is sand and gravel (D50 is 3.08 mm or 0.010 ft). The geomorphic assessment at the time of the Level I site visits on July 8, 1994 and December 13, 1994, indicated that the reach has experienced vertical degradation. A drop structure has been constructed downstream of the bridge to prevent further degradation. In addition to the degradation of the stream bed, there is local pier scour at the bridge site as well. At the nose of the pier in the main channel, the bed is approximately three feet below the mean thalweg and two feet below the bottom of the pier footing.

The State Highway 12 crossing of the Third Branch White Riveris a 220-ft-long, two-lane bridge consisting of four concrete spans. The maximum span length is 57 ft. (Vermont Agency of Transportation, written commun., July 29, 1994). The bridge is supported by vertical, concrete abutments and three concrete piers. The toe of the left abutment is at the channel edge. The toe of the right abutment is set back on the right over-bank. The roadway centerline on the structure has a slight horizontal curve; however, the main channel is skewed approximately 5 degrees to the bridge. Additional details describing conditions at the site are included in the Level II Summary and Appendices D and E.

Scour depths and rock rip-rap sizes were computed using the general guidelines described in Hydraulic Engineering Circular 18 (Richardson and others, 1993). Scour depths were calculated assuming an infinite depth of erosive material and a homogeneous particle-size distribution. The scour analysis results are presented in tables 1 and 2 and a graph of the scour depths is presented in figure 8.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Level II scour analysis for Bridge 42 (RANDVT00120042) on State Highway 12, crossing Third Branch White River, Randolph, Vermont
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 96-187
DOI 10.3133/ofr96187
Year Published 1996
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Pembroke, NH
Description iv, 28 p.
Country United States
State Vermont
City Randolph
Other Geospatial Third Branch White River
Scale 24000
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details