Hydrologic Design of Bridges and Culverts: A Historical Review

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, American civil engineers sized bridges and culverts by empirical methods based on the observed performance of existing structures during floods. Most of these early methods provided a direct estimate of the required waterway area rather than a design discharge. No particular recurrence intervals were associated with the designs. The shortcomings of these early design methods stemmed more from a shortage of useful hydrologic data than from an inadequate understanding of the relevant factors. The first reliable rainfall frequency maps for durations shorter than 24 hours were published in 1935. Advances in frequency analysis in the 1940s led to the development of regional flood-frequency methods for ungaged streams. The 1950s marked the transition to modern frequency-based hydrologic methods in design practice.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 83-90
  • Monograph Title: Great Rivers History

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01530570
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784410325
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jul 1 2014 3:01PM