My Training My Profile Checkoutshopping cart
Home Contact Help
Search for a Course
browse courses
Email Updates
Get the latest NHI training news.
Connect with us
Mail Facebook Twitter Youtube Flicker
Find Training
Browse Upcoming Sessions

Course Search

Search for courses based on delivery type, program area, or topic below, or find upcoming trainings in your state or territory. For more information on trainings from the National Highway Institute, contact us.

Course Description

Introduction to Highway Hydraulics

PROGRAM AREA: Hydraulics
Instructor-led Training (ILT)Instructor-led Training (ILT)
Calendar Year
Host Price
3 Days
1.8 Units
$800 Per Participant


CLASS SIZE: Minimum: 20 Maximum: 30


This course is based on Hydraulic Design Series No. 4 (HDS-4), "Introduction to Highway Hydraulics." The objective of the course is to provide a broad overview of basic highway drainage concepts. Fundamental hydraulic concepts are discussed, followed by open-channel flow principles and design applications of open-channel flow in highway drainage, including the design of stable channels, and pavement drainage. Closed-conduit concepts and applications in highway drainage include the application of culvert and storm drainage design. The presentation concludes with an introduction to concepts and design of energy dissipators. Detailed design criteria are drawn from other Hydraulic Design Series manuals and Hydraulic Engineering Circulars (HECs), providing a broad overview of all components of highway drainage design with an emphasis on practical applications. A portable hydraulic flume is set up in the classroom for the participants to observe numerous hydraulic principles. The participants take velocity and discharge measurements from the flume while in various setups and use the information to make design calculations.


Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Calculate design discharge using the rational method or regression equation procedures
  • Apply the continuity and energy equation to solve practical design problems
  • Use the Weir equation to calculate the flow overtopping a roadway embankment
  • Use Manning's equation to calculate velocity or flow depth in simple or compound channels and recognize when this equation cannot be appropriately applied
  • Evaluate channel flow conditions (subcritical, critical, or supercritical) using the Froude number
  • Design a stable channel using basic hydraulic concepts and Hydraulic Engineering Circular HEC-15
  • Apply basic pavement drainage concepts in calculation procedures described in HEC-22
  • Design a simple culvert crossing using the procedures in HDS-5
  • Design a simple storm drain and calculate the Hydraulic Grade Line (HGL) using the energy equation and HEC-22
  • Describe which energy dissipaters are useful for culvert or storm drain applications based on HEC-14


Entry-level engineers or engineering technicians who are performing highway drainage calculations on transportation facilities. It will also be useful as a refresher course on hydraulic fundamentals for experienced personnel.

If you have questions about this NHI training, please contact NHI at or 877.558.6873.


There are no sessions available. Sign up for session alerts to receive email alerts when sessions of this course are scheduled.

Host this Course

The National Highway Institute (NHI) has been accredited as an Accredited Provider by the International Accreditation for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this accreditation, NHI has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Accredited Provider status, NHI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.


You are about to access, a secure service provided by the United States Department of the Treasury.

As of March 15, 2017, to access users must use:

  1. Internet Explorer version 11 or higher
  2. Google Chrome version 30 or higher
  3. Mozilla Firefox version 27 or higher
  4. Apple Safari version 7 or higher

For questions, concerns, technical issues or for more information, please contact Customer Service at:

800-624-1373 (Toll free, Option #2)

216-579-2112 (Option #2)

Hours are Monday - Friday, 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM ET.

To pay by check, mail a copy of your invoice and a check made payable to the Federal Highway Administration to:
6500 S. MacArthur Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK 73169


You are now leaving the National Highway Institute's Web Site

You are about to access

Thank you for visiting.

You are about to access a link outside of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Our Web sites have many links to other organizations, including educational institutions and non-profit associations. Please note: While links to Web sites outside of DOT are offered for your convenience in accessing transportation-related information, please be aware that when you exit DOT Web sites, the privacy policy, including tracking technology, computer security, intellectual property protection and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (accessibility requirements) no longer apply. In addition, DOT cannot attest to the accuracy, relevancy, timeliness or completeness of information provided by linked sites. Linking to a Web site does not constitute an endorsement by DOT or any of its employees of the sponsors of the site or the products presented on the site. For more information, please view DOT's Web site linking policy. To get back to the page you were previously viewing, click your browser's "Back" button.