AESTHETIC, ENVIRONMENTAL, ANDGEOMORPHOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS OF CHANNEL MODIFICATIONS

Date

1998-10

Authors

Mollhagen, Tony
Ramsey, Heyward
Lehman, Thomas
Thompson, David

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Publisher

Texas Tech University Department of Civil Engineering

Abstract

As part of roadway construction, TxDOT commonly modifies or relocates stream channels. Depending on the degree and extent of modification, this practice can result in adverse impacts on aquatic and riparian habitats along the affected stream reach. Channel modifications are often undertaken without consideration of their aesthetic impact on the surrounding landscape. State and federal government agencies recognize the ecological importance of stream channel habitats and are charged with their protection. Therefore, alternatives to traditional channel modification are necessary and mitigation measures must be developed where modifications are unavoidable. The existing design guidelines (as given in the TxDOT Design Manual- Hydraulic Volume) contain many qualitative suggestions in this regard, but these need to be more vigorously enforced, more speCific. and more quantitative in nature. The first part of this document comprises a statement of guiding principles or recommendations. These recommendations are based on our review of the pertinent literature regarding these issues (report submitted previously) and field examination of selected problem areas provided by TxDOT. The second part of this document consists of a review of common problems, examples, and suggested procedures. A suggested data collection format to be considered for possible inclusion in future TxDOT Design Manuals is presented under separate cover. In addition. suggested modifications to the design manual to include the principles are presented under separate cover.

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