T&D News 2008 Number 2

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Designing Road-Stream Crossing Structures for Fish Passage

Streams are long, linear ecosystems that transport water, sediment, and debris downstream while allowing fish and other aquatic organisms to travel both upstream and downstream. Healthy functioning of stream ecosystems depends on their continuity. When streams meet roads, stream ecosystems can become blocked.

Designing culverts and other road-stream crossing structures requires simulating local stream characteristics. Stream simulation culverts have a continuous streambed that mimics the slope, structure, and dimensions of a reference reach in the adjacent stream.

The San Dimas Technology and Development Center (SDTDC) report "Stream Simulation: An Ecological Approach to Providing Passage for Aquatic Organisms at Road-Stream Crossings" (0877–1801P–SDTDC) provides guidance on how to observe and analyze the stream and site, as well as how to use those observations to design the simulated streambed and construct a structure. The report integrates geomorphic principles. Many examples—both real and conceptual—demonstrate how the analytical and design techniques might be applied in different stream types.

The report is available at http://www.fs.fed.us/eng/pubs/pdf/StreamSimulation/index.shtml or http://www.stream.fs.fed.us/fishxing/aop_pdfs.html.

For more information about stream simulation, contact Kim Clarkin, project leader (phone: 909-599-1267, ext. 209; e-mail: kclarkin@fs.fed.us).

A photo of the cover of a SDTCD report. The report is titled "Stream Simulation: an Ecological Approach to Providing Aquatic Organism Passage at Road-Stream Crossings". The cover has a photo of a stream passing under a roadway.

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