Knowledge CentreTechnical ProjectsGuide to Bridge Hydraulics, Third Edition

Guide to Bridge Hydraulics, Third Edition

The Guide to Bridge Hydraulics, Second Edition (2001) addresses hydraulic and hydrologic design issues related to bridge infrastructure, and is referenced in the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code and other publications. In view of the urgent need to adapt to climate change, the Guide requires updating to reflect current practice and to prepare for the future.


This project will update the current Guide to Bridge Hydraulics to include provisions related to climate change and to make it a more practical tool for bridge and hydrotechnical engineers. The current Guide includes only cautionary mentions of climate change, and the new Guide will be more robust in this area. Updates will address topics that include:

  • IDF curves and climate change provisions
  • Permafrost issues
  • Hydrotechnical issues related to forest fires
  • Spring freshet issues and increased snow melt
  • Coastal hydrotechnical issues

Project work will include the following key elements:

  • A nation-wide survey of current practices
  • A literature review on international practices
  • A review of available design guides for hydrotechnical considerations
  • A review of the current Guide for accuracy and inconsistencies
  • Research into climate change measures for future design considerations
  • Development of guidance on methods and procedures related to:
  • Basic hydraulic considerations including channel behaviours, bridge location and hydraulic design
  • Hydrologic estimates and modeling
  • Use of empirical methods of hydraulic and hydrologic design
  • Design and analysis of waterways including flow patterns, scour, fish passage and habitat, and ice and debris floes
  • Coastal and tidal considerations related to scour, wave action, storm surges, debris flow and dams, and coastal flooding
  • Inland crossings and flooding
  • Scour protection and mitigation
  • Construction and inspection
Focus Area:Infrastructure and Asset Management

Project Summary

In Progress
Last Updated:
May, 2022
Responsible Council / Committee:
Infrastructure & Asset Management Council / Structures Committee
Expected Duration:
30 months
Total Funding Estimate:
Staff Contact:Geoff Noxon