Alberta Transportation places great value on the Bridge Conceptual Design phase of projects. Hydrotechnical design for bridge projects is considered as part of the Conceptual Design phase. The goal of this phase is to optimize the bridge location and geometry.

Bridge Conceptual Design on Alberta Transportation projects must be in accordance with the following document.

Reference Documents that support these guidelines are available. Documents of particular interest include:

Alberta Transportation has developed tools that may be useful during bridge conceptual design. These are available as described in Guide to Bridge Planning Tools. Tools of particular interest include:

  • HIS – The Hydrotechnical Information System developed by the Department provides basic information about every bridge owned by the Department. Information may include year of construction, size, location, documented flood observations, hydrotechnical file histories and summaries, hydrotechnical inspections, and stream profiles (based on DEM data).
  • Flow Profile – Performs 1D calculation of section averaged depths and velocities through a system of channel and structure elements. It is based on a combination of Gradually Varied Flow and Rapidly Varied Flow calculations. The software can be used to model multi-slope culverts and constricted bridge openings. This is the Department's preferred hydraulics modelling tool.
  • Channel Capacity Calculator – Used to perform channel capacity calculations as per the Department's Hydrotechnical Design Guidelines.
  • BPG Tool – The Bridge Planning Geometry tool performs horizontal alignment, vertical profile, bridge fill and protection works geometry calculations. The information can be exported for use in GIS (for example, Global Mapper) and CAD software.