Development of a Rapid Assessment Tool for Pile Capacity and Stability in Response to Scour Situations

Project status

In progress

Start date: 04/01/16
End date: 12/31/17


Principal investigators:

About the research

From time-to-time, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) rating engineer is called by field personnel and asked to make quick decisions regarding pile capacity and stability when scour around piles is identified. Thus far, these decisions have been successfully made by completing manual calculations that require the rating engineer to make multiple, on-the-fly assumptions. Due to complexities in estimating remaining capacity in these atypical situations, the rating engineer must sometimes make assumptions that are known to be conservative in the interest of providing timely responses. The goal of this work is to develop a MathCad-style assessment tool that can be quickly used to make decisions in the interest of timeliness and safety.



  • Federal Highway Administration State Planning and Research Funding
  • Iowa Department of Transportation