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Public Roads - Summer 2023

Summer 2023
Issue No:
Vol. 87 No. 2
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Training Update

Three-Day, In-Person Training on Urban Drainage Design

by Stan Woronick and Sabrina Sylvester
A drain on the side of the roadway collects water and debris next to the curb. Molded into the drain are the words "Dump no waste! Drains to waterways." Image Source: © Ryan Bemben / logo. Image Source: NHI.

Three-Day, In-Person Training on Urban Drainage Design

Urban drainage design facilitates safe passage for vehicles during a storm event to support a sustainable, resilient, and reliable transportation network. Although it can be challenging, urban drainage design strives to maintain compatibility and minimize interference with existing drainage patterns; control roadway surface drainage; and minimize potential environmental impacts from highway-related stormwater runoff.

In a highway environment, urban drainage design includes the collection of stormwater runoff from the roadway surface, conveying it along the right-of-way, and then discharging it into an adequate receiving water body without causing adverse onsite or offsite impacts. The rapid collection and removal of stormwater from pavement surfaces ensure the safety of the traveling public by minimizing the conditions that can cause hydroplaning. Stormwater conveyance systems (e.g., storm drain piping, ditches, channels, pumps) provide an efficient mechanism for conveying flows from inlet locations to the discharge point without surcharging inlets or otherwise causing surface flooding.

To support the design of safe and reliable transportation networks, the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) National Highway Institute (NHI) has updated its training to provide a detailed introduction to urban roadway drainage design that will enable participants to solve basic water-related problems.

Achieving Urban Drainage Design Success with NHI

NHI now offers the Urban Drainage Design (3-Day) (FHWA-NHI-135027) course as an Instructor-led Training (ILT) or as a virtual option (FHWA-NHI-135027V). Referencing and building on the procedures and methodologies in the FHWA publication, Hydraulic Engineering Circular No. 22 (HEC-22), Third Edition: Urban Drainage Design Manual, this ILT helps individuals with roadway and drainage design responsibilities.

This training includes an overview of urban drainage design along with the fundamental hydrology and hydraulics principles most used. The ILT emphasizes the primary importance of ensuring safety among the traveling public and reviews pavement drainage and hydroplaning. This training also provides introductions to the concepts of and methods for analyzing and designing gutters and a variety of inlet types, including grate, curb-opening, and specialty inlets. Overall drainage system design is also addressed, including inlet spacing, storm drain layout and pipe sizing, and computing hydraulic and energy grade lines. The course concludes by describing the interactions between roadway geometric and drainage design.

To create a dynamic and engaging environment, the training instructor encourages and facilitates the sharing of knowledge about and personal experiences with drainage design practices among participants. “This course allows for the exchange of information and best practices between designers and practitioners that deal with roadway drainage design. Participants will learn a lot from the instructors but also from each other,” says FHWA hydraulics engineer Ryan Lizewski.

Recommended Courses

If you are a beginner in hydraulics or want to refresh your skills, NHI also offers the following courses in highway hydraulic training:

•    Introduction to Highway Hydraulics (FHWA-NHI-135065).
•    Practical Highway Hydrology (FHWA-NHI-135067).

How to Attend or Host a Course

NHI invites all transportation professionals interested in a course to visit to learn more information on how to register or host a course. The course catalog lists over 350 courses in 18 program areas.

NHI is an approved Accredited Provider by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). As an IACET Accredited Provider, NHI offers continuing education units for its programs that qualify under the American National Standards Institute/IACET Standard.

Stan Woronick is a training program manager for NHI.

Sabrina Sylvester is a senior marketing contractor for NHI.