Date of Award


Degree Type



Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Tumeo, Mark

Subject Headings

Culverts -- Ohio -- Evaluation, River channels -- Ohio, culvert, embedded culvert, stream simulation culvert, impact of culverts


Streams are dynamic systems constantly changing over time. The health of a stream system is tied to the amount of sedimentation occurring in a stream. The addition of roadway culverts into a stream has been shown to cause erosion and sedimentation problems if the culvert does not meet stream characteristics of slope, bankfull/width, and channel orientation. This has led to the design of embedded/bankfull culverts. In the State of Ohio, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Army Corps of Engineers now require the Ohio Transportation to install embedded/bankfull culverts at all stream locations during new roadway construction. A 2008 preliminary study at Cleveland State University, showed an embedded/bankfull culvert can cost an additional 31.5 higher over traditional culvert installations. Though this design has been accepted by regulatory agencies, there has been little research to determine if embedded/bankfull culverts minimize the change in sedimentation patterns, or if embedded/bankful culverts minimize disruption to environment surrounding the culvert. This study developed a decision tree approach to determine which existing testing methods are applicable to studying culverts, and then applied this decision tree to select tests for studying embedded/bankful culverts in the state of Ohio. 63 culverts were visited and surveyed. Sediment and water samples were collected and analyzed. Data was collected on particle-size distribution, total organic carbon, total suspended solids, and turbidity. It was discovered through the field studies that many of the culverts surveyed in Ohio are not operating as embedded/bankfull culverts.The change is sedimentation patterns were compared to length, slope, diameter, and shear stress in the culvert. Some correlations were found between the change in sedimentation patterns and the physical characteristics of the culvert. All of the correlations found were in functioning culverts. More habitat data is needed to determine the effects on t