Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info


Bridge scour

Some bridges are vulnerable to damage and failure during flooding. Scour may undermine bridge foundations or remove the protection from the abutment slopes, as in these bridge scour examples (PDF). To protect the public, bridges determined to be scour critical are monitored during flooding. Monitoring generally requires measuring the riverbed elevation at the bridge to determine whether:

  • The bridge should be closed
  • Corrective action should be taken immediately (i.e. remove debris)
  • Protection should be installed as soon as practical

Forms and procedures


New Bridge Monitoring Technology