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Keywords:

  • fault tree analysis;
  • decision making;
  • modeling;
  • channel restoration;
  • Nine Mile Run;
  • channel design;
  • infrastructure;
  • culverts.)

ABSTRACT: The environment surrounding urban streams imposes constraints upon stream enhancement projects. Constraints include bridges, culverts, highways, sewer and water lines, lack of easements, and other floodplain structures. The consequences of failure of these infrastructure constraints can be significant and should be considered in the design process. Fault tree analysis provides a systematic technique for analyzing the interactions of events that could lead to infrastructure failure. A case study of a stream in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shows that fault tree analysis can effectively model the interactions between the stream system and the infrastructure constraints and predict the most likely modes of failure. In addition, the relative success of alternative designs and failure mitigation techniques can be assessed using this analysis tool, lending insight into the urban stream enhancement design process. The method could also provide justification in the design permitting process and input for risk assessment.