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Scientific Investigations Report 2006–5282

Scientific Investigations Report 2006–5282

Hydraulic Survey and Scour Assessment of Bridge 524, Tanana River at Big Delta, Alaska

Prepared in cooperation with the
Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

By Thomas A. Heinrichs, Dustin E. Langley, Robert L. Burrows, and Jeffrey S. Conaway


Bathymetric and hydraulic data were collected August 26–28, 1996, on the Tanana River at Big Delta, Alaska, at the Richardson Highway bridge and Trans-Alaska Pipeline crossing. Erosion along the right (north) bank of the river between the bridge and the pipeline crossing prompted the data collection. A water-surface profile hydraulic model for the 100- and 500-year recurrence-interval floods was developed using surveyed information. The Delta River enters the Tanana immediately downstream of the highway bridge, causing backwater that extends upstream of the bridge. Four scenarios were considered to simulate the influence of the backwater on flow through the bridge. Contraction and pier scour were computed from model results. Computed values of pier scour were large, but the scour during a flood may actually be less because of mitigating factors. No bank erosion was observed at the time of the survey, a low-flow period. Erosion is likely to occur during intermediate or high flows, but the actual erosion processes are unknown at this time.


Purpose and Scope
Data Collection
Computation of Water-Surface Profiles
Scour Computations
Channel Changes and Bank Erosion
References Cited
Appendix A. Water-Surface Profile Model Data Files
Appendix B. Survey Data

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Send questions or comments about this report to the author, J.S. Conaway, (907) 786-7041.

For more information about USGS activities in Alaska, visit the USGS USGS Alaska Science Center home page.

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