Project 4.04: Bridge-stream network assessment to identify sensitive structural, hydraulic

and landscape parameters for planning flood mitigation

Bridge-Stream Network Assessment to Identify Sensitive Structural, Hydraulic and Landscape Parameters for Planning Flood Mitigation

Project 4.4

Project Summary

Bridge rehabilitation or new bridge design is often performed as needed for individual bridges without much consideration for how the change affects other bridges, properties, roads, etc. This is often a concern raised by stakeholders when they hear about planned changes in their river corridor. This project will develop an analysis method to understand how localized changes at a given bridge, stream or road affect the entire river corridor. This will help transportation agencies in managing their bridge and stream assets for maintenance and capital planning for upgrades, and also address stakeholder concerns raised in response to planned alterations.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Mandar Dewoolkar


Dr. Donna Rizzo
Dr. Arne Bomblies


University of Vermont

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Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, University Transportation Centers Program, Department of Transportation, University of Vermont,VTrans.

Implementation of Research Outcomes:

This study, as far as is known, is only the second to quantify the flood impacts on hydraulic bridge infrastructure under high-risk transient conditions on a river scale; and is the first study to do so on multiple rivers, and compare and contrast the model results across multiple rivers leading to an attempt of making some generalizable conclusions for bridge-stream networks in mountainous region in temperate climates. The results also showed how floodplain reconnection can be an effective method in certain situations to reduce potential adverse flood impacts on infrastructure. The developed screening framework is valuable for resource prioritization, holistic design of bridges, and bridge and river rehabilitation projects.

Impacts and Benefits of Implementation:

The hydrodynamic models developed in this project have been leveraged to simulate and rank suites of floodplain reconnection projects that lessen flooding impacts to infrastructure and maximize phosphorus load reductions in support of Vermont’s Functioning Floodplain Initiative
( Additionally, the models have supported validation of a low-complexity hydraulic modeling approach (e.g., Height Above Nearest Drainage) to characterize floodplain-channel

Printable Project Information Sheet

Printable Final Report

March 2019 Semi-Annual Progress Report

July 2019 Bi-Monthly Progress Report

September 2019 Bi-Monthly Progress Report

December 2019 Quarterly Progress Report

March 2020 Quarterly Progress Report

June 2020 Quarterly Progress Report

September 2020 Quarterly Progress Report

December 2020 Quarterly Progress Report

March 2021 Quarterly Progress Report

June 2021 Quarterly Progress Report

October 2021 Quarterly Progress Report