Two-dimensional (2D) depth-averaged hydrodynamic model was applied to simulate flow field around a circular pier in clear water. A correction factor was included in the friction term to take account the effect of streamline curvature due to flow separation and vortex shedding. In this study, 2D model simulate not only the vortex shedding in the turbulence wake but also bed shear stress distribution. The simulated bed shear stress contours were close to experimental measurements and three-dimensional (3D) modeling results. Since 2D model is much simpler and requires significantly less computational time than three-dimensional model, these results demonstrated that an improved 2D model is a capable tool of simulating bed shear stress distribution around bridge piers. Research in enhancing and applying 2D model to simulating the initiation and development of local scour is still a challenging topic for hydraulic engineers. Copyright ASCE 2005.