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Title:Development of Low-Water Crossing Design Guidelines for Very Low ADT Routes in Illinois
Author(s):Bhattarai, Rabin; Kalita, Prasanta; Gautam, Sudip; Howard, Heide; Svendsen, Niels; Gambill, Daniel
Subject(s):low-water crossing
Geographic Coverage:Illinois
Abstract:The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and local agencies monitor and regulates the 146,764 mi of roadway that are open to public travel in the State of Illinois. There are many old and aging bridges, culverts, and low-water crossings on rural low-volume roads that need to be replaced. Low-water crossings (LWCs) have been used as an economical alternative to culverts and bridges, designed without overtopping, on low-volume roads where there is low number of floods. The lack of design guidance has posed difficulty for county engineers in Illinois in deciding when, where, and which type of low-water crossing to use. The resulting structure is often either overdesigned or underdesigned. A study was conducted to design the guidelines for LWCs in Illinois at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) and support from the IDOT. The study included literature review, a LWC survey, and case studies on LWCs in Illinois. The results from a survey conducted among the county engineers in Illinois about their experience with LWCs are presented, along with commonly used LWCs, site considerations, selection criteria, and signage requirements. Design criteria and procedure for the LWCs design, construction, and best management practices are also discussed. Additionally, case studies, design examples, and permitting requirements for LWCs are included in the report. Implementation of LWC guidelines could save local agencies significant funding, due to lower construction and maintenance costs, less channel and flood plain blockage, and better adaptability and storm-proofing characteristics, as well as reduced impacts to aquatic organism passage.
Issue Date:2016-11
Publisher:Illinois Center for Transportation/Illinois Department of Transportation
Citation Info:Bhattarai, Rabin, Prasanta Kalita, Sudip Gautam, Heidi Howard, Niels Svendsen, and Daniel Gambill. 2016. Development of Low-Water Crossing Design Guidelines for Very Low ADT Routes in Illinois. A report of the findings of ICT-27-148. Illinois Center for Transportation Series No. 16-022. Research Report No. FHWA-ICT-16-020. Illinois Center for Transportation, Rantoul, IL.
Series/Report:Illinois Center for Transportation Series No. 16‐022
Genre:Technical Report
Sponsor:Illinois Department of Transportation, R27-148
Rights Information:No restrictions. This document is available through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-01-13

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