Minnesota Guide for Stream Connectivity and Aquatic Organism Passage through Culverts

This guide assists Minnesota culvert designers in identifying, selecting, and implementing appropriate designs for maintaining aquatic organism passage (AOP) and stream connectivity at road-stream intersections. It was synthesized from existing literature and culvert design documents, a survey of Minnesota practitioners, research, and input from local, regional, and national experts. Culvert designs that create excessive velocity, physical barriers, or shallow depth can disrupt AOP and may be detrimental to the continuity of water flow, sediment, and debris transport vital to stream health. Conversely, the recommended culvert designs in this guide account for stream parameters such as slope and substrate that vary across Minnesota landscapes. A set of best practices captures critical design elements based on stream characteristics, which can be summarized as follows: 1.) Design the culvert to be similar to the stream channel (reference reach) by matching its slope, alignment, bankfull width, and flow depth to maximize AOP; 2.) Provide a continuous sediment bed with roughness similar to the channel, while maintaining continuity of sediment transport and debris passage, and; 3.) Design for public safety, longevity, and resilience. Culvert design that improves AOP and accounts for sediment transport is expected to reduce long-term maintenance costs and increase culvert life span

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Minnesota, St Paul

    Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, 1390 Eckles Avenue
    St Paul, MN  United States  55108

    Minnesota Department of Transportation

    Research Services and Library
    395 John Ireland Boulevard
    St Paul, MN  United States  55155

    Minnesota Local Road Research Board

    St Paul, MN  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Hernick, Matthew
    • Lenhart, Christian
    • Kozarek, Jessica
    • Nieber, John
  • Publication Date: 2019-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 221p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01695345
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MN/RC 2019-02
  • Contract Numbers: (C) 99008 (WO) 233
  • Created Date: Feb 1 2019 7:52AM