Date of Thesis

Spring 2012


The long-term performance of infrastructure depends on reliable and sustainable designs. Many of Pennsylvania’s streams experience sediment transport problems that increase maintenance costs and lower structural integrity of bridge crossings. A stream restoration project is one common mitigation measure used to correct such problems at bridge crossings. Specifically, in an attempt to alleviate aggradation problems with the Old Route 15 Bridge crossing on White Deer Creek, in White Deer, PA, two in-stream structures (rock cross vanes) and several bank stabilization features were installed along with a complete channel redevelopment. The objectives of this research were to characterize the hydraulic and sediment transport processes occurring at the White Deer Creek site, and to investigate, through physical and mathematical modeling, the use of instream restoration structures. The goal is to be able to use the results of this study to prevent aggradation or other sediment related problems in the vicinity of bridges through improved design considerations. Monitoring and modeling indicate that the study site on White Deer Creek is currently unstable, experiencing general channel down-cutting, bank erosion, and several local areas of increased aggradation and degradation of the channel bed. An in-stream structure installed upstream of the Old Route 15 Bridge failed by sediment burial caused by the high sediment load that White Deer Creek is transporting as well as the backwater effects caused by the bridge crossing. The in-stream structure installed downstream of the Old Route 15 Bridge is beginning to fail because of the alignment of the structure with the approach direction of flow from upstream of the restoration structure.


Mathematical Modeling, Physical Modeling, Long-Term Monitoring of Stream Restoration, In-Stream Structures at Bridge Crossings, White Deer Creek

Access Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Type

Master of Science in Civil Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Jessica T. Newlin