A stream crossing is a stabilized area or structure, such as a ford or bridge that is constructed across a stream to allow for passage of animals, people, and equipment. The goal is to reduce stream bank and streambed erosion and to improve water quality. This type of practice is used on lands where an intermittent or perennial waterway exists.
The frequency of use of a stream crossing has to be considered before implementation. The number of stream crossings along a stream reach should be kept to a minimum. The frequency of use must also be taken into consideration. A ford is a type of crossing that is designed for wide, shallow waterways with stable stream beds. Their environmental impact is least when used infrequently.
Culvert or bridge crossings are best for high traffic areas however some animals may not cross them if they are narrow and high above the stream bed. Also, the number installed along a stream reach should be kept to a minimum in order to lessen the environmental impact.
The type of stream and its characteristics must be considered when developing a crossing. Deep channels are best suited for culvert or bridge crossings and wide and shallow channels are best for fords. Also, large watersheds with high stream flows work best for fords where the opposite is best suited for a bridge or culvert crossing.
Montgomery Soil Conservation District|
18410 Muncaster Road
Derwood, MD 20855