Etherington Creek Arch Structure


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Project Name: Open bottom arch culvert on the Etherington Creek campground access road, over the Etherington Creek.
Location: Kananaskis Country, Alberta
Previous Structure: Single 1200 mm diameter corrugated steel pipe
New Structure: single span, 7301 mm x 1743 mm diameter corrugated aluminum box culvert x 15.08 m invert length


Roseke Engineering Ltd. was engaged by Alberta Environment & Parks to design and supervise construction of the replacement culvert at this location.  Because the 2013 flood washed out the existing 1200 mm diameter corrugated steel pipe and flooded the campground, and hence Alberta Environment & Parks wished that the 2013 flood should represent the design flow for the site, other more traditional options had to be rejected because of the large volume of flow that needed to be accommodated under a small road-to-streambed height.  Since it was located in the Kananaskis Country, environmental considerations also pointed towards the open bottom arch culvert.

Roseke Engineering performed the hydrology, hydraulics, and structure sizing for the open bottom arch culvert.  We also designed the cast in place concrete footings.  For open bottom culverts, the long term erosion of the culvert footings is the most serious concern and requires careful attention to the erosion control measures near the footing.

Additionally, the site experienced significant water infiltration during construction and required significant water control measures to allow the concrete footing to be poured in the dry.  Fortunately, mountainous terrain presents very well graded gravels which can provide excellent foundations.

Mountainous terrain usually involves high bedrock elevations, and bedrock had to be excavated for the footings.  Rock is actually the best foundation material, if you’re blessed with it.  But it requires special techniques to ensure the foundation is adequately anchored into the bedrock.

Roseke Engineering is proud to be a leader in the construction of this highly innovative structure, and we have performed several other open bottom culvert projects as a result of this project.

Therefore, if you’re contemplating an open bottom culvert project, talk to the experts.  Our bridge team is ready to help you deliver your project on time and budget.


Bernie Roseke, P.Eng., PMP is the founder and president of Roseke Engineering Ltd.  He has 20 years experience in the design of rural bridges, culverts, and drainage structures, primarily for Counties, M.D.’s and Alberta Transportation.

Levi Ober, P.L.(Eng.) is our bridge manager and responsible for delivering bridge projects on time and budget.  He has 14 years experience in the assessment, design and construction supervision experience on County, M.D. and Alberta Transportation bridges.  He has designed every type of standard bridge and bridge sized culvert, and he is a class B bridge inspector.

Riley Johnson, T.T. is our junior bridge technologist.  He has assisted with design and performed construction supervision services on numerous bridge projects, and his enthusiasm for bridge work is contagious.

Please call us at (403)942-6170. We would love to speak with you.