Development of Self-Cleaning Box Culvert Design Phase II

The complexity of the flow through culverts has hampered comprehensive and systematic studies to establish guidelines on how to design sedimentation-free culverts or implement control measures to prevent sedimentation. In the absence of a full understanding of the processes involved, designers and managers have to rely on methods that too broadly and empirically address the range of conditions associated with culvert behavior in specific conditions. Typically such strategies comprise information gathered, in largely ad-hoc ways, from laboratory and/or small-scale field measurement, and/or from (very few) studies involving empirically-based simulation models. Phase I of this project initiated a comprehensive study on the subject sedimentation at multi-box culverts and means to mitigate the problem. The project was finalized with the development and testing of a self-cleaning design for selected 3-box culvert configuration. This study includes preparation for the implementation phase of self-cleaning design at selected sites in Iowa and will continue a multi-prong investigation for other types of culverts besides the 3-box culvert. The objectives of this project are to: (1) conduct laboratory tests for developing self-cleaning designs for 2-box culverts; (2) identify two- and three-barrel culverts in Iowa counties displaying a dynamic sedimentation behavior for subsequent implementation of self-cleaning designs recommended by Phase I and this investigation; (3) initiate monitoring programs at selected culverts for establishing reference conditions for assessing the efficacy of the self-cleaning designs; (4) conduct laboratory performance tests for culverts retrofitted with upstream and downstream cleaning fillets; (5) conduct laboratory performance tests of self-cleaning culverts for assessment of their performance at overtopping; and (6) estimate the effect of culvert modifications on the head losses through culverts. The project will identify locations of two- and three box culverts to be utilized for in-situ implementation of the self-cleaning culvert designs developed through Phase I. The primary products of the research will be a report providing design layouts and guidance for self-cleansing methods for new culverts and retrofitting existing culverts known to have a sedimentation problem. The final report will be formatted in a comprehensive and well-illustrated manner that directly helps engineers select the self-cleansing method best suited for each individual culvert site. The methods could be presented in a workshop and will be introduced and explained during presentations made at two Iowa conferences.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Iowa Highway Research Board

    Iowa Department of Transportation
    800 Lincoln Way
    Ames, IA  United States  50010
  • Project Managers:

    Dunn, Mark

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Iowa, Iowa City

    IIHR- Hydroscience & Engineering
    307 C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Lab
    Iowa City, Iowa  United States  52242
  • Principal Investigators:

    Muste, Marian

  • Start Date: 20100401
  • Expected Completion Date: 20130930
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 25661

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01518259
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Iowa Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: TR-619
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 14 2014 1:00AM