HEC-RAS has the ability to model multiple bridge and/or culvert openings at any individual river crossing. Types of openings can consist of bridges, culvert groups (a group of culverts is considered to be a single opening), and conveyance areas (an area where water will flow as open channel flow, other than a bridge or culvert opening). Up to seven openings can be modeled at a given location, and any combination of bridges and culvert groups can be used. Conveyance type openings can range from zero to a maximum of two, and the conveyance areas must be located on the far left and far right of the river crossing.
An example multiple opening is shown in Figure 5-25. As shown in this example, there are three types of openings: a conveyance area (left side, labeled as opening #1), a bridge (labeled as opening #2), and a culvert group (labeled as opening #3). During low flow conditions, flow will be limited to the bridge opening. As flow increases, the culverts will begin to take some of the flow away from the bridge opening. The conveyance area was defined as ineffective flow (no conveyance) until the water surface goes above the top of the bridge. This was accomplished by setting blocked ineffective flow areas. In this example, three blocked ineffective flow areas were established: one to the left of the bridge (which encompasses the whole conveyance area), one between the bridge and the culvert group, and one to the right of the culvert group.
Figure 5 25 Example Multiple Opening River Crossing