Structural BMPs for managing bridge deck runoff in cold regions

Focus Area

Water Quality/Wetlands


Natural Resources






1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

This project will develop, install and field test the
effectiveness of new structural BMPs specifically designed to manage runoff
near one or two highway bridge decks, e.g., filters and biofiltration treatment
at bridge piers and subgrade filters or galleries located in the stream
embankments below the frost line. Water quality parameters will be monitored
prior to, during and subsequent to the installation of the structural BMPs,
respectively. In addition, stormwater runoff velocity and other parameters will
be measured to monitor the BMP performance over the seasons.

Urgency and Payoff

All parts of the U.S. have important aquatics species,
with many species listed as threatened or endangered, or as species of special
concern by states. Salmon, trout and steelhead are common and important fish
species in cold regions. Highway runoff from bridge decks poses a particularly
challenging problem as there is typically limited space to treat runoff prior
to discharging into receiving waters, and it is very important to remove runoff
from the bridge deck as quickly as possible for safety reasons. The current practice
to treat bridge runoff is mostly non-structural. Therefore, there is an urgent
need to develop effective structural BMPs specific to managing bridge deck
runoff in cold regions.   

Suggested By

Xianming Shi & Matt Blank Western Transportation Institute 406-994-6486

[email protected]