In this work the turbulent field developing in case of local erosion around a 45° wing-wall bridge abutment was investigated numerically. Three different scour conditions were considered: beginning of the process, logarithmic phase and equilibrium stage. The flow field was computed using a wall-resolving large eddy simulation (a simulation where the near-wall viscous sub-layer is directly resolved) and the bathymetric data were taken from physical experiments with an equivalent geometry. The dynamics of the coherent structures forming around the obstacle and inside the scour-hole was investigated and its influence on the modeling of the problem and on the erosion process was discussed. The analysis suggested that the full dynamics of the vortex system should be directly solved since simple eddy-viscosity models, as the k-ε model in RANS approach, were found to be not suited for this kind of problem and since high-order statistics were found to be important for the evolution of the local scour. The results of the present study may be helpful to formulate new physical-based local scour models to be used for practical evaluation of the scour depth around bridge abutments.