you are here » st. joe river homepage » wmp » designated uses
Road-Stream Crossings

Erosion Quantification Resources to Download:

  • Erosion quantification form and instructions:
  • Erosion quantification field forms (three to a page)
  • Calculator spreadsheet



Road-stream crossings in the St. Joseph River Watershed were quantified using the Landscape Analyst extension to ArcView 3.2. The model output indicated that there are over 4,600 road-stream crossings in the watershed. Click on the image below to see a map of the identified crossings.

Section 319 grantees in Michigan typically survey road-stream crossings as a part of their grant requirements. Crossings in the Rocky River and Hog Creek Watersheds were surveyed in 2003. Sediment loading due to erosion at selected sites was quantified. In 2004, an MDEQ student intern surveyed several road-stream crossings and quantified sediment loading from the identified eroding sites. The sum of the estimated annual sediment loading from the sites surveyed was 75 tons/year. Click on the image below to see a map of the quantified sites.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality requires Section 319 grant recipients to conduct surveys of the road-stream crossings, using an agency form, in their watersheds. However, prior to this project, that form did not lead to quantification of sediment loading.

A Subcommittee was developed to determine a method for quantifying erosion from streambanks and road-stream crossings in the St. Joseph River Watershed. View the Subcommittee's objectives.
View the list of Subcommittee members.

A variety of forms meant to score erosion and habitat quality at road-stream crossings and along streambanks were presented to the Subcommittee. It was decided that it would be best for agencies conducting these surveys to add a few key parameters to their existing forms.

The addition of these key parameters were field tested in two subwatersheds of the St. Joseph River Watershed: Hog Creek and Rocky River. Click here to review all of the data from the Rocky River Watershed in an .xls format. Ten sites were revisited so that additional parameters could be recorded. An estimation of sediment loading was determined at those sites. Click here to download the .xls file of the site data. The map above to illustrates site locations and loading from each site.

Click the images below to view larger photographs.

An attempt was made to correlate the loading values to the ranking assigned during the initial survey. Those rankings are categorical (e.g. poor, fair, good). However, there was no correlation found between sediment loading (tons/year) and the scores derived from the MDEQ form (either for total site score or for erosion severity).

Click graph images below for larger views.

A Road-Stream Crossing erosion quantification workshop, was held November 5, 2003 at A Place in Time in Downtown Three Rivers, MI. Several attendees, including road commissioners, drain commissioners/surveyors, biologists, NRCS staff and watershed planners, were present. Presentation were delivered by:

Click above links to view available presentations.
A summary of the workshop is available as a PDF.

Click here to access "FishXing", fish passage/culvert design software.
See photos of well designed and failing culverts.

Subcommittee Meeting Summaries

(A website has been developed for the Kalamazoo River to share streambank erosion information.)

Erosion Quantification Resources to Download:

  • Erosion quantification form and instructions in PDF
  • Erosion quantification field forms (three to a page) in Microsoft Word
  • Calculator spreadsheet in Excel