Scour Program Management

Implementation of BridgeWatch™: A Program for Monitoring Scour Critical and Unknown Foundation Bridges; Using BridgeWatch to Monitor Road Overtopping

  • Jon Zirkle (TDOT)
  • Lotwick Reese (Idaho Department of Transportation)
  • Dave Claman (IOWADOT)


This presentation will highlight the implementation of the patented BridgeWatch® technology in four very diverse geographic locations across the United States. The selected locations include Georgia, Tennessee, Iowa, and Idaho. Each having the full functionality of the BridgeWatch web-based application but each also having unique features ranging from coastal structure monitoring of hurricane storm surge to snow melt occurring in the mountainous regions in North West Idaho. The implementation of BridgeWatch has provided improved forecasting allowing field personnel to concentrate their efforts specifically on bridges at vulnerable sites, rather than entire counties and drainage basins. When alerts are received, monitoring can begin immediately giving personnel valuable time to evaluate specific bridges for scour and erosion activities. Since 2001, The U.S. Departments of Transportation have used the BridgeWatch web-based solution to enable engineers to collectively contribute to more timely and informed decision-making. This allows the engineers to be pro-active in protecting the traveling public from the potentially harmful effects of scour and erosion.

How to Cite:

Zirkle, J. & Reese, L. & Claman, D., (2014) “Implementation of BridgeWatch™: A Program for Monitoring Scour Critical and Unknown Foundation Bridges; Using BridgeWatch to Monitor Road Overtopping”, National Hydraulic Engineering Conference 2014 1(2014).

Rights: Copyright © 2014, Jon Zirkle and Dave Claman

Publisher Notes

  • Panel moderated by Dave Claman, IOWADOT.
  • Dave Claman Biography: Dave Claman, P.E., M. ASCE is a 1983 graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He is currently the Transportation Manager for the Preliminary Bridge Section at the Iowa Department of Transportation and has 30 years of experience in the hydrology and hydraulics engineering field. Dave’s primary responsibility is to insure the State’s highway structures are appropriately sized and designed in accordance with Iowa DOT guidelines and policies. He is also the DOT’s expert regarding drainage disputes, bridge scour, stream geomorphology, 2-D hydraulic analysis and FEMA/floodplain management issues. Prior to working for the Iowa DOT, Dave worked for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources where he was responsible for the administration and enforcement of the State’s floodplain management program.
  • Lotwick Reese Biography: Lotwick Reese graduated from Brigham Young University with a five-year Bachelor of Engineering Science degree in Civil Engineering. After graduation he received an offer from the Federal Highway Administration and was assigned as a project engineer for the construction of a 5-span bridge accessing the Vandenberg Air force Missile Base in Lompoc, California. Other assignments included, assistant area engineer in the Kansas Division, served in the Hydraulic Branch in Washington DC, training state transportation hydraulic engineers nationwide, and worked in the Oregon Division Office. Lotwick was licensed as a Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor in the state of Idaho in 1971, and as a Professional Engineer in the state of Utah in 1972. He spent several years in the private consulting practice with Valley Engineering, Inc. Logan, Utah as headquarters office manager, city engineer for the cities of Tremonton and Providence, Utah and county engineer for Rich County, Utah. He served as the Engineering Section Supervisor and State Floodplain Coordinator for eight years with the Idaho Department of Water Resources, and as a national elected officer and on the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Floodplain Managers. He was promoted to the Groundwater Protection Manager and served for three years with responsibility for three major programs, 1) geothermal, 2) injection wells and 3) well driller licensing. While managing the groundwater programs, he was selected to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Groundwater Association. Lotwick has served as the State Hydraulics Engineer for the Idaho Transportation Department for over twenty-five years, and has 49 years of state service. His responsibilities include the statewide direction of the hydrologic and hydraulic design relating to the drainage and distribution of water on all Interstate, State and Local Highway Systems; hydraulic training of the Department’s six district design staffs; Chairman of the Interdisciplinary Bridge Scour Committee managing the statewide Bridge Scour Evaluation Program, and a member of the AASHTO Technical Committee on Hydrology and Hydraulics for eighteen years. In 2007, Lotwick received the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) “Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award” for his contribution to restore historic fish passages in Eastern Idaho. This project replaced old arched pipe culverts with clear-span bridges, and new channel designs with natural meanders, pools and riffles. This innovative design created a “fish-friendly” environment for the revered Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout to migrate from Henry’s Lake, upstream through the Targhee and Howard creeks to their natural spawning habitat. In 2011, Lotwick was the recipient of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Region 4, Design Award. This award is presented to the outstanding Engineer chosen from AASHTO’s Region 4, which comprises sixteen states west of the Mississippi River. At the National Hydraulic Engineering Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in August 2012, Lotwick was awarded the Mark Miles National Hydraulic Engineer Award. This group consists of the Department of Transportation State Hydraulic Engineers from the 50 states, the Canadian Provinces, and the Federal Highway Administration Hydraulic Engineers nationwide. Lotwick was selected by a seven member review committee representing all of the above agencies, from nominations submitted prior to the conference. This prestigious award was presented to Lotwick at the awards ceremony banquet of approximately 300 people at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
  • About the Presenters: Jon Zirkle Biography: Jon Zirkle, P.E., is the Manager of the Hydraulics Section of the Structures Division for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. He started with TDOT in the Hydraulics Section in 1995 after graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering in May of that year. He received a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from there in 2004 and his P.E. license from the state of Tennessee in 2001. He has served in the manager’s position since February 2002 supervising employees in the hydraulic design of bridges and culverts including scour analysis, producing fill volume offset plans for USACE and TVA reservoirs, ensuring compliance with TDOT policies, FEMA and USCG regulations, as well as open channel, detention pond, energy dissipater and bridge deck drainage design and review, and investigation of drainage complaints against the State serving as an expert witness for the state’s Office of Attorney General. He is TDEC Level II Certified in Erosion and Sediment Control and a 2003 graduate of the Tennessee Government Management Institute. Jon is a member of NSPE and TSPE since 2001 and is a charter member of the ASHE-Middle Tennessee Branch since 2005. He is the current chair of the TRB AFB60 Hydraulics, Hydrology and Water Quality Committee. He has served as a panel member to NCHRP Project 24-26: Effect of Debris on Bridge-Pier Scour, NCHRP Project 25-25/Task 74: Meeting the New EPA Effluent Limitations Guideline for Construction Site Discharge Turbidity: Effectiveness of Different Turbidity Control Systems and Monitoring Methods, NCHRP Project 24-39: Evaluation and Assessment of Environmentally Sensitive Stream Bank Protection Measures Panel member, NCHRP Project 10-90: Guidance for Complying with EPA Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Construction Runoff, NCHRP Project 25-25 / Task 85: Nutrient (Nitrogen / Phosphorous) Management and Source Control, and NCHRP Project 25-25 / Task 93: Long Term Construction and Maintenance Cost Comparison for Road Stream Crossings: Traditional Hydraulic Design vs. Aquatic Organism Passage Design.

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Published on
21 Aug 2014
Peer Reviewed