Development of Design Methods for In-Stream Flow Control Structures

Natural resource agencies have encouraged many state departments of transportation (DOTs) to use "natural" (context-sensitive) stream stability and restoration measures in lieu of traditional engineering responses to stabilize rivers and streams against erosion and scour. These measures include the construction of shallow, in-stream, low-flow structures across all or part of a stream channel. These measures have gained wide acceptance with national and state regulatory agencies responsible for protecting natural habitats because the structures often enhance stream habitat. Structure types include cross vanes, j-hooks, w-weirs, constructed riffles, and stream barbs usually constructed of rock riprap. Proponents of these structures have claimed that they can be durable and cost-effective and provide scour stability, but the necessary case studies have not been documented to verify these claims. Comprehensive engineering and financial criteria do not exist for evaluating, designing, installing, and maintaining these structures. In-stream, low-flow structures sometimes require less rock than traditional engineered streambank stabilization, promising greater economy, especially where material sources are scarce. The state of the art in design and installation does not include proven engineering design criteria, thus current efforts to apply these structures often result in frequent instances of failure and associated costs for repair. Validated engineering criteria promise reduced risk of failure and increased cost-effectiveness of installations. Quantitative optimization of parameters such as lifecycle cost, size, spacing, and foundation depth and their influence on scour depth, sediment transport, and long-term structure and channel stability will support the development of engineering design, installation, and maintenance criteria necessary for hydraulic engineers to design economic in-stream, low-flow structures with confidence. The objective of this project is to develop quantitive engineering guidelines, design methods, and recommended specifications for in-stream, low-flow structures that address (1) erosion protection, channel stability, sediment transport, and scour stability of the stream; (2) cost-effectiveness, long-term performance in terms of the low-flow structure stability, durability, and survivability; (3) recommended installation practices; and (4) maintenance requirements. The guidelines should include a description of conditions under which in-stream, low-flow structures are either successful or not effective in providing protection against erosion and scour and in performing applicable habitat restoration functions.</span></div><div style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><font size="3"> </font></div>


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 24-33

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC    20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  USA  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Reynaud, David

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

    Department of Civil Engineering
    500 Pillsbury Drive, SE
    Minneapolis, MN  USA  55455-0116
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sotiropoulos, Fotis

  • Start Date: 20080902
  • Actual Completion Date: 20110901
  • Source Data: RiP Project 16904

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01464575
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 24-33
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:45PM