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Water level determination for transportation projects : mean high water manual, final report, November 2009.
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  • Alternative Title:
    Mean high water manual : final report, November 2009
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  • Edition:
    Final report; Feb. 2000-July 2002.
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  • Abstract:
    To ensure proficient network management and safe usage of navigable waterways especially in waters that are

    subject to tides, it is essential that the height of the water at various tidal phases be known. This knowledge is also

    essential for property ownership determination and for construction projects in areas that are subjected to tidal waters.

    Construction applications that require the knowledge of various tidal water levels include determination and

    implementation of bridge clearances, design of caissons, cofferdams, fenders, and weep holes. Bridge clearances are

    calculated from tide observations, tide predictions and an assessment of the size of vessels expected to travel beneath

    them. Additional considerations that are to be addressed during bridge construction are minimum underclearances

    necessary to operate construction equipment, the season of construction and its effect on the water level, regulatory

    requirements of agencies such as the US Coast Guard, etc.

    Water levels and clearances are expressed in terms of elevations in a particular height system. To avoid

    implementation errors, it is essential that proper research, analysis, methods and procedures be exercised prior to

    construction to ensure that a consistent height system is being used. Insufficient determination of the current water

    levels and misunderstanding of height systems could become a public safety problem and/or result in property damage

    or damage to the integrity of the transportation network.

    The objective of this manual is to establish a uniform NJDOT procedure for determining water level as applied

    to safety, construction projects, and bridge clearances determination in tidal areas. It includes an introduction to the

    phenomena of tides, discussions on tidal and vertical datum, legal issues of tides, and methods for establishing the

    mean high water (MHW) at a construction site. The manual includes a detailed outline of a MHW study that consists of

    planning, observation sessions, data reductions, computations, quality assessment of the established MHW and

    documentation of the established MHW. NJDOT co

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