The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey have cooperated in a study to evaluate two methods of predicting sediment yields during highway construction.
Sediment yields were calculated using the Universal Soil Loss and the Younkin Sediment Prediction Equations. Results were compared to the actual measured values, and standard errors and coefficients of correlation were calculated. Sediment discharge from the construction area was determined for storms that occurred during construction of Interstate 81 in a 0.38-square mile basin near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Precipitation data tabulated included total rainfall, maximum 30-minute rainfall, kinetic energy, and the erosive index of the precipitation. Highway construction data tabulated included the area disturbed by clearing and grubbing, the area in cuts and fills, the average depths of cuts and fills, the area seeded and mulched, and the area paved.
Using the Universal Soil Loss Equation, sediment discharge from the construction area was calculated for storms. The standard error of estimate was 0.40 (about 105 percent), and the coefficient of correlation was 0.79. Sediment discharge from the construction area was also calculated using the Younkin Equation. The standard error of estimate of 0.42 (about 110 percent), and the coefficient of correlation of 0.77 are comparable to those from the Universal Soil Loss Equation.