A highway embankment across a stream channel may have one or several bridge openings. In 1953, the pattern of flow through a single opening was quantitatively described by C. E. Kindsvater, R. W. Carter, and H. J. Tracy. The present investigation of the flow pattern at constrictions with two to seven openings is a continuation of the earlier study. Laboratory experiments and the analysis were directed toward the development of methods for (a) computing discharge through multiple-opening constrictions, (b) apportioning a given total discharge among the several openings, and (c) predicting the backwater caused by the constriction.
The division of flow among the openings was related to the relative area of each opening, and the relative velocity in the channel immediately upstream from each opening. On the basis of this relationship, the boundaries of the flow channel approaching each opening were established. The head-discharge and backwater characteristics of each opening were then analyzed separately. It is shown that the relations developed for the constriction with a single opening are applicable to each opening of a multiple-opening constriction once the boundaries of the separate flow channels have been established.