Jessica Newlin, Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering
The performance of a stream restoration project that incorporates a bridge crossing is evaluated within a 3-year monitoring period. A goal of the project was to alleviate and prevent future sediment aggradation within the waterway of a low-clearance bridge crossing. The stream restoration project included two rock cross vanes and stepped riprap and vegetation bank stabilization. Monitoring of the project involved the collection of channel survey data, pebble counts, and general observations of instream structure condition and sediment movement. The evaluated performance of the restoration structures is related to the general hydrologic conditions, the historical changes in the watershed and channel, and the hydraulic conditions created by the low-clearance bridge crossing. Backwater effects created by the bridge crossing are found to be a substantial cause of the failure of the stream restoration project to meet its goals. The low-clearance bridge hydraulics are preventing a rock cross vane located upstream of the bridge from creating a scour hole in the centre of the channel; instead, aggradation is occurring in this portion of the channel. However, degradation is occurring downstream of the bridge causing the failure of the second rock cross vane and of the riprap and vegetation bank. Although the hydraulic conditions may stem from the initial design of the bridge crossing, any restoration structure should be designed according to the current site hydraulics. In addition to providing insight into the design and construction of stream restoration structures, the results have implications for the design and management of bridge crossings. Copyright (c) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Newlin, Jessica and Schultz, B. P. “Hydraulic Interaction between Rock Cross Vane Stream Restoration Structures and a Bridge Crossing.” River Research and Applications 31, no. 9 (2015) : 1183-1194.