Earlier this year the Environment Agency warned that climate change was causing rising water levels and would therefore increase the risk of more frequent and dangerous flooding.
These risks also pose a threat to infrastructure. There are thousands of railway bridges across the UK and one of the biggest threats to safeguarding our rail networks is the risk of scour affecting the bridge structures.
Scour assessments have always been a vital tool in terms of monitoring and maintaining Network Rail infrastructure but this is becoming of increasing importance as predominantly Victorian engineering comes under threat from increasingly unpredictable weather and flood events.
Here at GCS, we have many years experience providing scour assessment and scour protection surveys. For the scour assessment surveys, we provide our clients with elevation, cross section and long section information, enabling river modelling as part of the overall assessment.
As you can see from the below images of a laser scan as part of a topographic scour protection survey, the detail we can get with a laser scanner is incredibly useful:
Performing a scour assessment survey allows the level of risk to be determined. The assessment delivers a low, medium or high rating. If the risk level is sufficiently high, we may then be asked to carry out a full scour protection survey. The scour protection survey delivers a high level of topographic and cross section detail to enable greater accuracy modelling as well as facilitating design of protection.
Scour surveys, whether for assessment or protection, can be challenging for many reasons such as remote locations, access challenges as well as unexpected changes in water levels due to weather.
Protection of our railway bridges is often overlooked by passengers but scour assessments are an on-going necessity to ensure the safety and sustainability of future railway services.
To find our more about our work on rivers and railways, visit our services page.
Grantham Coates Surveys
Land, Engineering & Measured Building Surveyors
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