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Hydraulics

Only being a state for 16 years in 1905, Washington had fewer than 1,000 miles of state roads (almost all unpaved outside of cities) served a population of 600,000 and only had around 100 cars in the entire state. Today, Washington’s population exceeds 6.5 million with nearly 3 million motor vehicles and more than 7,000 miles of official state highways. With advances in science and technology and an increase in development new innovative ways to deal with water are essential to maintain or improve the quality of our natural resources.

The WSDOT headquarter hydraulics office provides technical support, training and policy in the field of hydrology, hydraulics, stormwater and river engineering to ensure our roadways provide a safe, effective and efficient movement of people and goods while maintaining the natural movement and treatment of water throughout our watersheds and water bodies. In addition, the headquarter hydraulics office coordinates and provides technical guidance for research in the field of hydrology, hydraulics, stormwater and river engineering.

As technical experts in the field of hydrology, hydraulics, stormwater and river engineering it is our responsibility to the public to assess how our infrastructure will affect the quantity and quality of our watersheds and water bodies.


Runoff Resources



WSDOT HQ Hydraulics Work Request Form

To request work to be completed by the HQ Hydraulics Office, please utilize the Work Request Form (xlsx, 27kb).  Select the type of work to be completed, the requested completion date, and other pertinent information.

Please send work requests to Casey Kramer, kramerc@wsdot.wa.gov



WSDOT Hydraulics Manual

Every March, a new version of the Hydraulics Manual is published that reflects corrections and or clarifications found during general use of the manual.  To request a revision to the Hydraulics manual, please fill out the form below and submit it to Jay Christianson

Revision Request Form

Before starting any hydraulic design, verify that the date in the footer of the Hydraulics Manual is for the last March. The latest version of the WSDOT Hydraulics Manual (M 23-03) is always available on-line through Engineering Publications On-Line Library.


WSDOT Hydraulics Report Outline

Below is a link to the current Hydraulic Report Outline referenced in the Hydraulics Manual as Appendix 1-3. The outline is periodically updated and as such it is recommended that designers use the latest version, at the link below, when staring a new Hydraulic Report. The outline is intended to be a starting point for designers. For additional guidance on the outline, designers should consult Chapter 1 of the Hydraulics Manual.

Hydraulic Report Outline


Hydraulics Report Checklist

Below is a link to the current Hydraulic Report Checklist referenced in the Hydraulics Manual as Appendix 1-4. The checklist is periodically updated and as such it is recommended that designers use the latest version, at the link below, when staring a new Hydraulic Report. The checklist is intended to assist designers in the development and through the review process of a Hydraulic Report. For additional guidance on the checklist, designers should consult Chapter 1 of the Hydraulics Manual.

Hydraulic Report Checklist


Fish Passage

WSDOT is required to install and maintain all culverts, fishways, and bridges to provide unrestricted fish passage as per Washington law, RCW 77.57.030. Design of fish barrier correction will be based on the latest version of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) Fish Passage Design at Road Culverts manual or its successor. Through use of this design guidance and in coordination with WDFW, it is expected that new highway construction at stream crossings will not result in additional barriers to fish passage. For more information, see link below. 

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Environment/Biology/FP/fishpassage.htm


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Primary Responsibilities

The Hydraulics Section has primary responsibility for the following:

  • Hydraulic analysis of bridges, including hydraulic conveyance, floodplain impacts, deck drainage and foundation scour. 
  • Design of streambank stabilization and scour countermeasures 
  • Design of hydraulic structures that act as habitat restoration or include habitat restoration components. 
  • Serve as subject matter experts on various floodplain regulations and perform backwater analyses for determining regulatory flood elevations for river channels and bridge openings. 
  • Analysis of riverine systems using various 1D and 2D hydrodynamic and sediment transport models 
  • Provide hydrology and hydraulics training for WSDOT personnel. 
  • Maintain and update the WSDOT Hydraulics Manual. 
  • Maintain and update the design portions of the Highway Runoff Manual. 
  • Hydraulic design of large span corrugated metal culverts. 
  • Provide technical support and approval authority for Hydraulic Reports. 
  • Technical support for research efforts in stormwater, hydraulics and river engineering. 
  • Maintain and update WSDOT Standard Plans and Standard Specifications Book involving drainage water related items.

Technical Assistance

The Hydraulics Section offers technical assistance to project engineers, WSDOT consultants, other WSDOT Specialty Groups, Emergency Operations Center and Local Programs for the following: 

  • Hydraulic design of drainage facilities and hydraulic features (culverts, storm drains, storm water BMPs, siphons, channel re-alignments, etc.) 
  • Hydraulic Support for bridge scour, bridge foundations. 
  • Serve as subject matter experts on various floodplain regulations and perform backwater analyses for determining regulatory flood elevations for river channels and bridge openings. 
  • Design of streambank stabilization and scour countermeasures. 
  • Design of hydraulic structures that act as habitat restoration or include habitat restoration components. 
  • Analysis of riverine systems using various 1D and 2D hydrodynamic and sediment transport models 
  • Restoration of riparian corridors, floodplains, and floodways (Levees, Levee setbacks, etc). 
  • Analysis of streambank erosion along roadways & river migration 
  • Special hydrological analyses including but not limited to snowmelt estimates, storm frequency predictions, etc. 
  • Analysis of closed drainage basins and unusual or unique drainage conditions. 
  • Wind and wave analysis on open water structures. 
  • On-site assistance during construction of specialty hydraulic related designs (i.e. fish passage, bank stabilization, etc). 
  • Assisting project offices in developing SOW’s, RFP’s for consultant work relating to specialty hydraulic designs. 
  • Hydraulic design of pumping facilities. 

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