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Risk-informed asset management to tackle scouring on bridges across transport networks

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Scour is one of the main causes of bridge failures resulting in significant macro-economic impacts, often beyond the direct costs of infrastructure damage. Given the pressure to increase the resilience of transport networks, ageing bridge infrastructure, constrained budgets, variable knowledge of asset conditions and limited data, mixed ownership and operation of bridges, and concerns about the risks of climate change, there is a need to implement cost-effective monitoring and maintenance strategies. To this end, this study aims to set the scene for a risk-informed approach for tackling bridge scour, while considering the socio-economic impacts of disruptions due to bridge failures or closures. This study reviews the current practices in predicting, monitoring and managing bridge scour. It discusses the development of a risk-informed approach to aid the whole-life appraisal of bridges while considering the direct and indirect costs associated with bridge failure or closures. The approach provides a rational means to enable asset managers to evaluate the factors that affect bridge failure risk, select and prioritise appropriate mitigation measures, thereby improving the allocation of scarce monitoring and maintenance resources.



Asset management, bridges, condition monitoring, decision making, infrastructure, risk assessment, scouring, transportation networks, whole life appraisal

Journal Title

Structure and Infrastructure Engineering

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Informa UK Limited


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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/N021614/1)
Technology Strategy Board (920035)
EPSRC/Innovate UK funded Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction