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Low water stream crossings for trails and greenways

Concrete structures near water level bridge rivers and drainages. Much wider than culverts, these structures cross over drainageways at the same grade as the trail surface. Low water crossings are designed to allow normal flow under the trail, and to be over-topped during seasonal floods. Concrete is the normal material used to withstand flooding and scouring from flowing water. Bridges are typically raised well above the waterway and at least above the 100-year flood level. Railings are typically not used on low water crossings, although the structure may be wider than the normal trail width. Similar structures are used to carry trails over streams under road bridges. Narrow channels may be cut in the concrete to allow moderate water flow through rather than under the trail itself.

arrow See articles and resources on trail bridges and structures and more on greenways and riverways

arrow See Bridges, Docks, & Boardwalks fabricators in the American Trails Business Directory

Photos and commentary by Stuart Macdonald; click on any photo to see it full size:


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