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Improvement in Design Practice of Side Slope Protection of Guide Bunds for Bridges

Dr S V Chitale, Fellow
Design norms for side slope protection and apron are given by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in IS 10751 : 1994 and Indian Road Congress ( IRC ) in IRC : 89 - 1997. There are certain points not very clear requiring further consideration. The origin of the equation recommended for stone size and weight is not given. The implied assumptions and limitations are therefore not known. The equations for apron stone size and weight recommended by BIS and IRC are significantly different. The slope of launched apron specified for concrete blocks and stone-crates is different from that for stones. Provision for allowance to be made in stone size and weight when flood flow is strongly turbulent, the flow is obligue, current eddies and waves are present is left to the judgement of the designer. These points are discussed and possible improvement suggested in this paper.
Keywords : Bridges; Guide bunds; Slide slope protection; Apron stones

NOTATION C D K Ss V or Va Vb W s : : : : : : : : : : coefficient stone size such that 50 % is of smaller size slope parameter specific gravity of stones average velocity, m/s bottom velocity weight of stone, kg angle of sloping bank angle of repose of protection material weight of stone per unit volume

For apron stone, the BIS has recommended the relationship W = 0.031 V6 while the IRC has given the relationship W = 0.101 V6. Thus, for the same velocity, the required weight of apron stone according to the IRC is 0.101/0.031 = 3.26 times heavier than that as per the BIS. No guidance is available at present for choice of either of the two relationships. Relevant factors which should weigh in applying personal judgment in choosing the appropriate relationship are suggested. The launching slope for concrete blocks and stone crates is specified as 1.5 H : 1 V in IRC and BIS guidelines. This is however a debatable point deserving consideration of both theses organizations. All these aspects are discussed here for possible improvement in the Indian design practice. SIDE SLOPE PROTECTION

The BIS has the relation between the weight W and average velocity Bridges on rivers in alluvial flood-plains in Indo-Gangetic and Va while the IRC has given the relation between equivalent diameter 2 D the velocity Va . The dislodgement of the stone Brahmaputra river basins are provided with constricted waterway of stone 0.0215 Vband = = 0.02829 Vb2 occurs due to bottom velocity Vb incident on the stone. and guide bunds. The guide bunds are normally of length nearly Dhowever 0.76 equal to the length of the bridge waterway. These are formed of Hence, basically the relation should be in terms of Vb. The Isbash sand from the river bed and are protected from side erosion due to relation flood flow by means of stone pitching on side slopes. For safety from toe-failure due to bed-scour, an apron of stones is laid on river (1) D = CVb2 = 0.0215Vb2 bottom beyond toe of the side slope. The stones in the apron are normally of 40 kg to 70 kg weight laid in two or more layers according is of this type. This relation pertains to the extensive work of Isbash4 to the design norms. On major rivers like the Ganga and the on the construction of dams by depositing rock in running water. It Brahmaputra, the guide bunds are long. For instance, at the Mokameh is applicable for stone on level bottoms. Equivalent D size on side bridge on the Ganga river, the guide bund is 1524 m long on the slope having an angle is given by upstream and 305 m on the downstream1. The apron provided is 2.44 m thick over a width of 45.73 m. The cost involved in providing CVb2 the side slope pitching and the apron is therefore high. (2) D= K Norms for design of side slope protection and apron are given in IS 10751 : 19942 and in IRC : 89 - 19973. According to BIS, the weight 0.5 of stone required to withstand erosive action of flow should be sin 2 determined following the relationship in clause 5.6.1. For stone of wherein the slope factor K = 1 2 . In this equation is sin specific gravity = 2.65 and for guide bund side slope of 2 horizontal 6 to 1 vertical, this relation reduces to W = 0.031 V . As per IRC also, the angle of repose of the protection material. For 2 H : 1 V side the weight of stone for the pitching on side slope of 2 H: 1 V slopes, = 26.5651. With = 43 for stone, K = 0.76. Hence, should be determined by the relationship in clause which is Isbash equation for D on 2 H: 1 V side slope would be similar to that of BIS. The origin of these relationships is not given. In this paper, an attempt to trace this origin is made and implied assumptions assessed. Comparing these relationships with similar equations in popular use in Europe and the USA, possibility of improvement is suggested.
Dr S V Chitale resides at 425/14 T M V Colony, Pune 411 037. This paper(modified) was on November 03, 2005. Written discussion on this paper will be entertained till July 31, 2006.


(3) This is nearly the same equation as

D = 0.0282Va2


given in the IRC: 89 - 1997 for 2 H : 1 V side slope for stone size. 1

Vol 87, May 2006

Thus, the equation for stone size given in IRC : 89 - 1997 without indicating the source appears to have been adopted from Isbash equation assuming Va = Vb . The equation for size of stone on side slope of guide bunds given by BIS in IS 10751 : 1994 is

W =

0.02323Ss K ( Ss 1)



the velocities at design High Flood Level ( HFL ) or discharge, are more often higher than 3 m/s. If IRC relation for apron-stone is adopted, the crated stone or C-C blocks will invariably be required to be provided for apron. The past experience of existing bridges on major rivers like the Ganga and the Brahmaputra shows that provision of 60 kg to 70 kg weight stones in apron have proved to work satisfactorily. This justifies the use of BIS relationship in preference to IRC relationship. Reconcilation of the apron stone relationship by the IRC is therefore considered necessary. SLOPE OF LAUNCHED CONCRETE BLOCKS AND STONE CRATES This is taken as 1.5 H : 1 V as recommended in IRC 89 - 1997 and IS 10751 : 1994. The angle of response of scoured face of sand after bed scour is 2 H : 1V having an angle of 26.56. In case of loose stone apron after bed scours, the stones cover the scoured face by launching. The launched apron stone thus acquire the side slope of 2 H : 1 V as shown in IRC 89 - 1997 and IS 10751 : 1994. In case of loose stone apron, the launched apron thus does not have the slope of 1.19 H : 1 V which is the side slope equal to angle of repose of loose stones of 40. In case of stone crates also, the scour would first occur and the scoured face of sand would acquire the angle of repose of 26.56 giving side slope of 2:1 and a single layer crates will cover this face as reported by Inglis8 and Verhagen, et al 9. It can acquire the side slopes 1.5 H : 1 V when crates are in a single layer. The side slope of 1.5 H : 1 V for launched apron of concrete blocks and stone crates recommended by IRC and BIS is thus not convincing. CONCLUSIONS 1. Field date of distribution of velocity along a vertical at the toe of side slope of guide bunds would help to verify the justification of assumption of bottom velocity being equal to average velocity. Such data is lacking at present and an attempt to collect this data is warranted. 2. It would be useful if BIS and IRC relations for stone size and weight could be modified by incorporating factors to account for flow obliquity, eddy action, turbulence, wave action, etc, as done in HEC - 11 and Pilarczyks equations. 3. Reconcilation of the relationship for apron stone given in IRC: 89 - 1997 needs consideration. 4. Slope of launched concrete blocks and stone crates in apron has been specified as 1.5 H : 1 V by BIS and IRC. This needs reconciliation as 2 H : 1 V launched slope appears more appropriate. REFERENCES
1. River Behaviour, Management and Training. CBIP Publication , vol I, no 204, 1989, New Delhi. 2. IS 10751 : 1994. Planning and Design of Guide Banks for Alluvial Rivers Guidelines. First Revision, Bureau of Indian Standards, 1994. 3. IRC : 89 - 1997. Guidelines for Design and Construction of River Training and Control Works for Road Bridges. First Revision, Indian Roads Congress. 4. S V Isbash. Construction of Dams by Dumping Stones in Flowing Water. 1935. 5. H Rouse. Engineering Hydraulics. John Wiley & Sons, 1950, New York, USA. 6. HEC 11. Design of Riprap Revetment. Federal Highway Administration, US Department of Transportation, Publication no FHWA - 1, 1989, p 89-016. 7. K W Pilarczyk. Design of Revetment. Dutch Public Works Department, Hydraulic Engineering Division, Delft, Netherlands. 8. C C Inglis. The Behaviour of Rivers and Canals. Central Water & Power Research Station, Pune, 1949. 9. H J Verhagen , M Hoeven and B Thiel. A New View of Falling Aprons. COPEDEC VI, 2003, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

wherein Ss is the specific gravity of stones. The source of this equation is not given and hence assumptions made in its derivation cannot be known. 2 On horizontal floor sin = 0 . Hence K = 1. Therefore, with Ss for sin 2 stone = 2.65,
W = 0.0137Va6


The size D and weight are interrelated, the relation being

D= 6W or D = 0.0897W 0.33 s


in which s is the weight of stone per unit volume = 2650 kg/m3. Hence, the BIS relation in terms of D is
D = 0.0897 ( 0.0137 ) 3 Va2 = 0.215Va2


which is the Isbash equation in terms of Vb . Thus, in the BIS equation also, the assumption is Vb = Va though not so mentioned. When the velocity distribution over a vertical is logarithmic as given by Rouse5, the bottom velocity is lower than the average velocity shown in Figure VII.65 of CBIP pub no 204 vol I1. Due to turbulence in flood flow, it is likely that Vb equals Va along the guide bund, though field date validating this assumption is lacking. In the interest of safety it is advisable to adopt the IRC and BIS equations assuming Va = Vb . FACTORS AFFECTING RELATIONSHIP OF STONE SIZE In 5.3.5 of IRC : 89 - 1997 and 5.7.2 of IS 10751 : 1994 it is mentioned that the predominant flow characteristic which affects the stability of the pitching is velocity along the guide bund. Other factors like obliquity of flow, eddy action and waves are indeterminate which could be studied on the model and may be accounted for by providing adequate margin of safety over the size obtained from velocity considerations. The additional safety margin is, however, not indicated. Guidance for allowance to be made for severity of flow conditions is given for the HEC - 116 equation for stone size in use by the Federal Highway Administration, USA. Pilarczyks7 relation used in Europe for the stone size gives guide values of safety factors depending on application. Allowance for turbulence is made by adopting the recommended turbulence factor KT in the equation. It would be useful if BIS and IRC relations for stone size and weight could be modified incorporating suitable factors to account for flow obliquity, turbulence, eddy action, etc as in HEC-11 and Pilarczyks equations. IRC AND BIS RELATIONSHIPS FOR APRON STONE According to the IRC relationship for apron, the stone weight required for a velocity of 3 m/s is 76 kg. For bridges on major rivers, 2

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