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Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center - Mississippi
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ABOUT THE MS WSC
USGS IN YOUR STATE
USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.
Bridge Site Studies
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) works closely with the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) to provide information to be used by the MDOT for economical and optimum design of highway-drainage structures. The MDOT spends millions of dollars annually for highway construction. Streamflow records, hydrologic analyses of basins, and hydraulic analyses of the flooding potential at proposed highway crossings help MDOT make wise use of highway construction funds.
Survey of Biloxi Bay bridge damage after hurricane Katrina. -Photo by Trent Baldwin
Photo of bridge over Strong River. -Photo by Trent Baldwin
Flood-frequency and hydraulic characteristics at highway crossings are determined from historical flood-elevation data recovered by the USGS, cross-section data, and correlations with data from nearby gaging stations. Additional streamflow data are collected for ungaged sites when significant flooding occurs in an area of interest to MDOT. This information not only provides the basis for the design of highways and drainage structures, but also is used by local agencies and the public as a guide in flood-plain management. Results for more than 2,100 bridge-site studies, some which date back to 1951, are being compiled into a geographic information system (GIS) database.
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