Improving the Performance of the Transportation Industry Through Training
My Training My Profile Checkoutshopping cart
Home Contact Us Help
Search for a Course
more search options
Connect with us
Receive regular email updates
Find Training
Browse Upcoming Sessions
Choose Delivery Type Options

Choose Program Area Options

Choose Session Options
Between and

Course Description

Stream Stability and Scour at Highway Bridges

PROGRAM AREA: Hydraulics
Instructor-led Training (ILT)Instructor-led Training (ILT)
Calendar Year
Host Price
3 Days
2 Units
$975 Per Participant

TRAINING LEVEL: Intermediate

CLASS SIZE: Minimum: 20 Maximum: 30


The National Highway Institute's (NHI) 3-day Stream Stability and Scour at Highway Bridges course provides participants with comprehensive training in the prevention of hydraulic-related bridge failures. Course participants will receive training in conducting a stream stability classification and qualitative analysis of stream response and make estimates of scour at a bridge opening.

Material for the course comes primarily from two Hydraulic Engineering Circulars (HEC), "Evaluating Scour at Bridges" (HEC-18), 5th Edition (2012), and "Stream Stability at Highway Structures" (HEC-20), 4th Edition (2012). The effects of stream instability, scour, erosion, and stream aggradation and degradation are covered. Quantitative techniques are provided for estimating long-term degradation and for calculating the magnitude of contraction scour in a bridge opening. Procedures for estimating local scour at bridge piers and abutments for simple and complex substructures are also provided. A comprehensive workshop integrates qualitative analysis and analytical techniques to determine the need for a Scour Plan of Action for correcting stream instability and scour problems. For this 3-day course, the host agency will need to select 3 optional topics (out of 8 possible topics). Course instructors will contact the host prior to the course to complete a pre-course questionnaire, determine optional topics to be taught, and discuss the course schedule.

This comprehensive training provides preventive techniques for identifying, analyzing, and calculating various hydraulic factors that impact bridge stability. Public and private sector engineers responsible for maintaining the integrity of highway bridges will find it invaluable.

Prior to the beginning of the course, participants are strongly encouraged to enroll in the following Web-based training (WBT) courses: 135091 Basic Hydraulic Principles Review, 135086 Stream Stability Factors and Concepts, and 135087 Scour at Highway Bridges: Concepts and Definitions. Mastery of the concepts covered in these WBTs will enhance participation in the Instructor-led training.


Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify indicators of stream instability that can threaten bridges
  • Identify stream types and their potential for instability problems
  • Describe open-channel hydraulics concepts in bridge scour and stream instability analyses
  • Define types of scour that can occur at bridge crossings
  • Describe aggradation, degradation, and contraction scour
  • Calculate contraction scour for live bed and clear water conditions
  • Describe factors that influence scour at piers
  • Calculate pier scour for three typical case studies
  • Describe the factors that influence scour at abutments
  • Describe how HEC-18, HEC-20, and HEC-23 provide analysis procedures for stream instability and bridge scour
  • Perform Level I and II analyses
  • Classify a stream using two different classification systems
  • Conduct a qualitative analysis of stream responses
  • Apply the HEC-18 scour equations to determine total scour at a bridge
  • Determine the need for a Scour Plan of Action at a scour-critical bridge


Federal, State, and local highway hydraulic, structural, and geotechnical engineers as well as bridge inspectors responsible for maintaining the integrity of highway bridges against possible hydraulic-related problems. Consultants who perform bridge engineering work are encouraged to attend.

If you have questions about this NHI training, please contact NHI at or 877.558.6873.


There are no sessions available. Sign up for session alerts to receive email alerts when sessions of this course are scheduled.

Host this Course

The National Highway Institute (NHI) has been accredited as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this accreditation, NHI has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Accredited Provider status, NHI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.


More Information

Submit Feedback or Questions
Please submit feedback regarding the NHI Web site and services.
Document Disclaimer
The documents available on this site are for printing purposes only. If you have any problems accessing information on this site, please contact for assistance.