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Abutments
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Abutments

Trail bridge abutments are site specific. The type, shape, height, and material for the abutments are determined by the bridge opening requirements, ground cross section, foundation material, and the bridge span and loadings. An abutment's fit within the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum classification depends primarily on the materials used in the abutment.

Abutment selection and design must take into consideration the stream's flood flows (when crossing a body of water) and the effects of stream scour. Intermediate bridge supports are particularly susceptible to scour, stream flow, and debris loading. All bridge abutment and pier footings should be constructed at, or below, the anticipated scour elevation.

Abutments and piers, particularly for longer span bridges, must be designed by an experienced bridge engineer.

Abutment types may vary from one side of a stream to the other depending on the stream channel's cross section.