Culvert Design using HY-8

A guide to designing culverts for access roads and laneways supporting agricultural conservation projects
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Instructed by Tim Clark Academics / Math & Science
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  • Lectures 13
  • Length 10.5 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 11/2013 English

Course Description

This course will guide you through using HY-8 to analyze culverts. You'll watch short demonstration videos and then apply what you've learned to class exercises, and then check you work. Focus is on applying the software to real problems - does not delve deeply into hydraulics, hydrology, erosion control, fish passage, or construction.

What are the requirements?

  • A windows PC, with administrative rights to install HY-8
  • A letter size printer for the class exercises

What am I going to get from this course?

  • By end of the course, you will be able to use HY-8 to design and size a roadway culvert

Who is the target audience?

  • Conservation Professionals and junior engineers

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction to Culverts

Covers the background information and basic vocabulary used in culvert design, technical resources, and where to download HY-8.

328 pages
This is the background manual for culvert design using HY-8.  Don't try to read through it all at once.  Definitely check out the Glossary (p27-38), Culvert Flow (p83- 90), AOP (p127-136) and Charts & Nomographs (p221-275).  Scan through the table of contents to see what else is in here, and thumb through at your convenience.  
Understanding the basics
7 questions

A quick introduction to why fish passage in streams is important. Many conservation projects won't require fish passage, but for the few that do this is essential! Here's the link to the NYSDEC stream crossings page mentioned in the video:

Reading: Vermont Stream Crossing Handbook
14 pages
Reading: HEC-26 Culvert Design for Aquatic Organism Passage
234 pages

Describes the basic user interface dialog boxes inside HY-8, without entering any site specific data.

4 questions

This is a hide-and-seek quiz where I tell you what to find and you go look for it. Don't worry, there's plenty of hints if you get stuck!

Section 2: Check Existing Conditions

Takes a simple existing culvert plan and analyzes it with HY-8. Open the handout and print out both pages - you'll want to reference them while watching the video.

1 page

Here is the first sample exercise for you to try in HY-8. Try to figure out whether the existing scenario can pass the 2 year design storm without roadway overtopping. Feel free to play with settings and try out different things as you go.

When you want to check your work, download "Lecture 8 Results.xml" below. You'll need to change the file extension from .xml to .hy8 in order to load it into HY-8. If you need help doing this, you can check out this article:

1 page

Here is a larger problem for you to work through. There are two barrels that empty into a pool downstream. Also, the peak flows are in a different format - see how HY-8 behaves using Min/Design/Max versus doing recurrence intervals. Figure out whether the culverts can pass the design flow without overtopping the road. Feel free to play with settings and try out different things as you go.

When you want to check your work, download "Lecture 9 Results.xml" below. You'll need to change the file extension from .xml to .hy8 in order to load it into HY-8. If you need help doing this, you can check out this article:


Just a few comments on some of the quirks in HY-8 you might have picked up on, and a humble request for comments and revisions.

Section 3: Design a Culvert from Scratch
1 page

Print this handout and follow the instructions on it. You'll be designing a culvert under an access road mostly from scratch using HY-8. The completed solution is in the Lecture11answers.xml file below. Remember you'll need to change the file extension back to .hy8 to read the file.

1 page

Here's the exact same scenario, but with larger flows. Try to visualize the pipes under the access road and how much cover they will need - this is an exercise in making sure there's enough cover. Results are below, remember to change the file extension to .hy8 in order to view it.


This lesson wraps up the culvert design series and briefly touches on a couple notable topics such as outlet protection and pipe cover.

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Instructor Biography

Tim Clark, Conservation Planning, Design & Implementation across NY!

Tim is a NY State Registered Professional Engineer with a diverse background in agricultural conservation, civil/site design, railway design, aviation design, and highway design. He is currently the State Engineer for the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee housed at the NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets, where he is dedicated to improving the planning, design, and construction of conservation practices across New York State.

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