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We place 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 our projects must be in accordance with the Bridge Conceptual Design Guidelines
Reference documents that support these guidelines are available. Documents of interest include:
- Context of Extreme Floods in Alberta (PDF, 117 KB) – The basis for our approach to design flow determination.
- Evaluation of Open Channel Flow Equations (PDF, 58 KB) – Development of the open channel flow equation used on larger rivers.
- Development of Runoff Depth Map for Alberta (PDF, 195 KB) – Discusses the development of the Runoff Depth Map by the Department and its application to the design discharge.
- Stream Degradation Technical Note (PDF, 195 KB)
- Bridge Planning Presentations – A series of presentations from Bridge Planning workshops and seminars highlighting components and methods used in the Bridge Planning process.
- Illustrated Guide to Bridge Conceptual Design (PDF, 4.2 MB) – A presentation based on sample application of the Bridge Planning Geometrics tool
- Report on Six Case Studies of Flood Frequency Analysis (April 2001)
- Alberta Rainfall Runoff Response (PDF, 170 KB ) (May 2007)
- Large Alberta Storms (PDF, 683 KB) (March 2007)
- Alberta Flood Envelope Curve Analysis (PDF, 298 KB) (January 2007)
- Alberta Flood Envelope Curve Analysis – North America Context (PDF, 4.5 MB) (October 2009)
- Potential Impact on Sediment Volume due to Berm Construction (PDF, 46 KB) (October 2009)
- Velocity Distribution Impacts on Fish Passage at Culverts (PDF, 106 KB) (July 2010)
- Discussion on the Selection of the Recommended Fish Passage Design Discharge (PDF, 123 KB) (2016)
- Fish Passage Design Summary (PDF, 652 KB) (2020)
We have developed tools that may be useful during bridge conceptual design. These are available as described in Guide to Bridge Planning Tools (PDF, 1.32 MB).
Tools of particular interest include:
- HIS – The Hydrotechnical Information System provides basic information about every bridge we own. 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.