The Texas Department of Transportation commonly builds and maintains low-water crossings (LWCs) over streams in the Edwards Plateau in Central Texas. LWCs are low-height structures, typically constructed of concrete and asphalt, that provide acceptable passage over seasonal rivers or streams with relatively low normal-depth flow. They are designed to accommodate flow by roadway overtopping during high-flow events. The streams of the Edwards Plateau are characterized by cobble- and gravel-sized bed material and highly variable flow regimes. Low base flows that occur most of the time occasionally are interrupted by severe floods. The floods entrain and transport substantial loads of bed material in the stream channels. As a result, LWCs over streams in the Edwards Plateau are bombarded and abraded by bed material during floods and periodically must be maintained or even replaced.
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USGS Numbered Series
Bed-Material Entrainment and Associated Transportation Infrastructure Problems in Streams of the Edwards Plateau, Central Texas