Design Guidelines and Mitigation Strategies for Reducing Sedimentation of Multi‐Barrel Culverts

Sedimentation at multi-barrel culverts is an ongoing maintenance and design issue along erosion-prone watersheds. Sediment deposits can develop quickly impairing the culvert capacity to convey design flows which can lead to damages to both the transportation infrastructure and upstream landowners. Typical culvert design protocols are based on the hydrologic and hydraulic analysis of the site with little attention given to the potential for sedimentation. The information and knowledge for assessing the complex erosion and transport processes leading to culvert sedimentation is limited. The methods for removing sediment from culverts are costly, labor intensive and often reoccurring. Since 2006, the Iowa DOT has provided funding for investigating and understanding the physical processes that cause sedimentation, along with solutions to mitigate the reoccurrence and developing design guidance for reducing the potential for sedimentation at multi-barrel culverts. A short 4 minute video that explains the web-based geospatial application that is aimed at supporting culvert monitoring and design with special emphasis on the sedimentation processes is available at: The web-platform provides systematic procedures for storing culvert inventory information, assessing culvert sedimentation status (using field survey and aerial imagery), analyzing and forecasting culvert sedimentation potential (using visual analytics and machine-learning to establish correlations between sedimentation degree and the watershed relevant variables). These interactive tools facilitate an improved understanding of the overall culvert-watershed interactions in Iowa. Because the web-portal was built with generic databases (i.e., USGS, SSURGO, RUSLE, EPA StreamCat, NHDP Plus, etc.), it can be easily extended for any stream location in the U.S. that is prone to sedimentation.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $360000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    New Mexico Department of Transportation

    1120 Cerrillos Road
    P.O. Box 1149
    Sante Fe, NM  United States  87504-1149

    Iowa Department of Transportation

    800 Lincoln Way
    Ames, IA  United States  50010

    Mississippi Department of Transportation

    P.O. Box 1850
    Jackson, MS  United States  39215-1850

    Missouri Department of Transportation

    1617 Missouri Blvd.
    P.O. Box 270
    Jefferson City, MO  United States  65102

    Utah Department of Transportation

    4501 South 2700 West
    Project Development
    Salt Lake City, UT  United States  84114-8380
  • Managing Organizations:

    Iowa Department of Transportation

    800 Lincoln Way
    Ames, IA  United States  50010
  • Project Managers:

    Clute, Khyle

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Iowa, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

    3100 Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences
    Iowa City, Iowa  United States  52242
  • Principal Investigators:

    Muste, Marian

  • Start Date: 20200501
  • Expected Completion Date: 20231231
  • Actual Completion Date: 20240630

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01722052
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Contract Numbers: TPF-5(445)
  • Created Date: Nov 12 2019 7:10PM