Birmingham Northern Beltline - Better Beltline

Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms
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An element of the substructure, or foundation of a bridge used to support the bridge and stabilize soil to support the approaching roadway.

Active Stormwater Treatment
A Stormwater runoff management technique which typically involves the use of mechanical pumping, filtration, and flocculant introduction to promote the settling of suspended fine sediment, or turbidity, in construction stormwater runoff.

Alabama Department of Environmental Management. The state agency responsible for administering and enforcing environmental laws.

Acronym for Alabama Department of Transportation, the state agency charged with providing a safe, efficient and environmentally sound transportation system.

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Basin Dewatering Device
A floating outlet apparatus used to drain water from a sedimentation basin. The device allows the cleanest of the detained water to be removed at a controlled rate from the surface of the impounded runoff. The term, skimmer may also be used to describe this device.

Black Warrior River
The Black Warrior River is formed about 22 mi (40 km) west of Birmingham by the confluence of the Mulberry Fork and the Locust Fork and flows 178 miles to the Tombigbee River, of which the Black Warrior is the primary tributary.

BMP-Best Management Practices
Full implementation and maintenance of effective measures to prevent pollutant discharges from leaving State property and/or entering waters of the state. BMPs can be structural or non-structural, used to control communication, work, Food & DrinkPersonal FinanceComputer SoftwareVideo, Computer & Internet GamesElectronicsComputer SoftwareParentingComputer HardwareFashion, Style & Personal CareArts & EntertainmentHealthAuto RepairParties & EntertainingCraftsFamily HealthMoney ManagingDental HealthCar EnthusiastsHolidays & CelebrationsRelationships & FamilyBusinessCraftsPetsHobbies, Games & ToysCareers & WorkBusiness water, erosion or sediment. A BMP can be a single practice or more than one practice that, when combined, will provide effective control.

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Cahaba River
At 194 miles in length, the Cahaba River is the longest free-flowing river in Alabama. It is a major tributary of the Alabama River and part of the larger Mobile River basin. With headwaters near Birmingham, the Cahaba meanders to the southwest, then at Heiberger turns southeast and joins the Alabama River.

Compost Blanket
A compost blanket is a layer of material made of composted woody debris placed on slopes to reduce erosion, promote vegetation establishment and minimize erosion.

Construction Stormwater Runoff
Drainage within and from a construction site resulting from rainfall that falls within the site. Construction stormwater discharge is regulated in Alabama by NPDES general permit for construction discharge found at the following link.

Cross Drainage
A general term describing protective structures and conveyances that facilitate the movement of water across the construction site.

Culvert - an enclosed conveyance of water.

Cut Section
An area of a roadway where soil has been removed in order to lower the elevation of the road below natural ground. Soil removed from cut sections is generally moved to areas of the project where it is needed to construct fill sections.

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Detention Ponds
Excavated areas designed and constructed to temporarily store stormwater runoff and manage its release in order to minimize erosion.

Dewatering Device
a floating device within a sediment basin that allows the release of impounded water from the surface, ensuring removal of water of the highest quality first.

Discharge point/Discharge site/Outfall
That location where stormwater runoff leaves ALDOT right-of-way and/or enters a water of the state.

Ditch check
A ditch check is a small barrier constructed across a swale or drainage ditch to reduce the velocity of flowing water thereby allowing sediment to settle and to reduce erosion within the channel.

A temporary or permanent conveyance of stormwater runoff constructed to direct water to a treatment practice or another protected conveyance. Diversions may utilize berms and/or, excavated swales.

Drainage Sumps
A stormwater runoff management practice used to capture larger suspended particles of sediment. Drainage sumps, or sumps, are generally constructed within ditch lines and prior to practices intended to remove finer sediment particles.

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Erosion (soil erosion)
Displacement of soil particles, usually by water.

Erosion Control Product (ECP)
Products designed to be applied to slopes and channels for the purpose of minimizing soil erosion by raindrop impact and sheet erosion and promoting the establishment of vegetation. ECPs may be in the form of hydraulically applied products (HECPs) or manufactured in blankets or rolls (RECPs).

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Five Pillars of Construction Stormwater Management
A comprehensive approach to managing construction stormwater developed by ALDOT and applied to the Birmingham Northern Beltline. The approach focuses on five elements that should be managed and applied in order of effectiveness. The Five Pillars are, in order of priority: COMMUNICATION, WORK, WATER, EROSION, and SEDIMENT. The Five Pillars may be applied during planning, design, construction, and inspection.

A material added to stormwater runoff to cause sediment particles to be drawn together so as to promote settling and removal.

Flow Baffle
A component of a sedimentation basin installed to reduce turbulence of water entering the basin to promote settling of soil particles suspended in the detained runoff. Flow baffles, or baffles, generally consist of very porous material draped over a wire fence within the basin. Several flow baffles are usually present in each basin.

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Hydraulic Erosion Control Product (HECP)
see Erosion Control Product (ECP)

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The process by which water on the earth's surface enters the ground.

Inlet Protection
A stormwater runoff management practice intended to minimize the amount of sediment that enters a drainage structure or system. Several different materials and manufactured products may be used at different stages of inlet and project construction.

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Level spreader
A stormwater runoff management practice designed to reduce potential impacts to receiving waters by minimizing the erosive forces associated with stormwater runoff velocities. The device converts concentrated flows into sheet flow and is used in conjunction with vegetated strips, also promoting infiltration of stormwater.

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Mechanically Stabilized Earth Wall (MSE Wall)
A soil retaining structure consisting of horizontal structural elements with a vertical fascia, used to safely reduce an embankment footprint as compared to traditionally constructed slopes and to reduce construction time as compared to conventional retaining walls.

An acronym for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. The term used to describe regulations and permit coverage related to the discharge of stormwater runoff from urban areas. An ALDOT-specific MS4 permit provides coverage for stormwater discharges associated with ALDOT facilities located within municipal boundaries.

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National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit issued by ADEM

NTU-Nephelometric Turbidity Unit
A unit of measure of turbidity.

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Passive Stormwater Treatment
A Stormwater runoff management technique which typically utilizes gravity and the implementation of best management practices to reduce soil erosion and sediment transport.

Pneumatic Concrete Blanket
A permanent concrete surfacing constructed by projecting concrete under high pressure onto a slope to prevent erosion

Post Construction Stormwater
Drainage within and from a built facility or area resulting from rainfall that falls within the area. Post Construction stormwater discharge from ALDOT facilities in urban areas is regulated in Alabama by the ALDOT MS4 permit found at the following link.

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Qualified Credentialed Inspector, an ADEM defined term for a person who may perform stormwater inspection under the supervision of a QCP that meets specific qualifications defined by ADEM. Minimum qualifications include an eight hour training class with exam and 4 hour annual recertification training provided by an ADEM approved training provider.

Qualified Credentialed Professional, an ADEM defined term for a person responsible for the design and implementation of the management of construction stormwater discharge for a particular construction activity. Professionals meeting the minimum criteria for being a QCP must be certified or licensed by the State of Alabama or other professional organizations or associations. These professionals include; professional engineers, certified professionals in erosion and sediment control (CPESC), professional land surveyors, registered landscape architects, registered geologists, and other professionals listed by ADEM.

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Retaining Wall
A structure utilizing soil reinforcement and a wall face to restrain soil and reduce the area required to accommodate a specific land use.

Right of Way (ROW)
A parcel of land for which the public has a legal right to traverse. Commonly refers to the land bordering the highway and between private property and the road.

Rip Rap
Large stone used for slope stabilization, channel lining, or embankment in a transportation setting. ALDOT categorizes rip rap by classes. Class I is a mixture of stone primarily consisting of individual rock that is approximately 10-100 pounds; Class II, up to 200 pounds; Class III, up to 500 pounds; Class IV, up to 1,000 pounds; and Class V, up to 2,000 pounds.

Rock Buttress
Support for a section of roadway embankment constructed of large rock serving to stabilize, drain, restrain, and reduce the footprint of the embankment employing the pervious and massive nature of the buttress along with its steeper front face.

Rolled Erosion Control Product (RECP)
see Erosion Control Product (ECP)

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Suspended or deposited solid matter that is being, or has been transported by water, wind or other natural and unnatural mechanisms.

Sediment Barrier
A temporary barrier installed to intercept and slow shallow runoff, promoting the deposition and capture of suspended sediment. Sediment barriers are typically installed along the perimeter of the project or work area.

Sediment Retention Barrier
A linear stormwater runoff management feature typically located along vegetated buffers, streams, and the site perimeter and used primarily to manage sediment by intercepting sheet or dissipated runoff. The practice generally consists of two parallel lines of silt fence with straw bales or packed mulch sandwiched in between.

Sedimentation Basin
Excavated areas designed and constructed to promote the settling of suspended fine sediment, or turbidity in construction stormwater runoff. Sediment basins typically have a forebay, flow baffles, and a dewatering device associated with them. There are 16 sedimentation basins on this section of the project.

Silt Fence
A linear stormwater runoff management feature generally constructed of woven geotextile fabric attached to wire mesh backing held vertical with steel posts.

Soil Nailing
A construction technique that allows the safe steepening of new or existing soil slopes. The technique generally involves the insertion reinforcing elements into the slope, tensioned and secured with soil nail head plates, and the slope face covered with pneumatically applied concrete.

Step Pool Conveyance
Open channel structure designed and constructed to convey stream flow or stormwater runoff at steep gradients. Step pool conveyances reduce the energy and velocity of the flow by utilizing a series of drops and shallow pools constructed of boulder and logs. The structures minimize soil erosion, promote infiltration, and provide aquatic habitat. There are three step-pool conveyances on this section of the project.

Stormwater Diversion
A management practice designed and constructed to intercept stormwater runoff and convey it around an active work area or to a designated area for treatment. Diversions may be found in the form of excavated stabilized swales or constructed stabilized berms.

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Temporary Slope Drain
A conduit for stormwater runoff that extends the length of a disturbed or recently vegetated slope to convey water down the slope and minimize erosion. Temporary slope drains, or slope drains, usually consist of corrugated plastic pipe anchored with metal posts. Other materials may be used for the conveyance and anchoring.

The cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by the presence of suspended fine particles. The measurement of turbidity is one test of stormwater runoff quality and is typically measured in Nephelometric Turbidity Units, or NTU, by the degree of light diffusion as it passes through the liquid.

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Vegetated Buffer
An area or strip of undisturbed vegetation adjacent to a water body or other protected area intentionally preserved to prevent erosion, promote infiltration, and foster the removal of sediment from stormwater runoff.

Vegetated Strip
An area of vegetation utilized both during and post construction, designed to slow runoff velocities, filter sediment and other pollutants from stormwater runoff, and promote infiltration. Vegetated filter strips may be used to accept runoff directly from the roadway or in conjunction with other practices, such as a level spreader.

Vegetated Swale or Ditch
A shallow troughlike drainage feature constructed to convey or treat stormwater runoff by promoting sedimentation, filtering pollutants, and increasing infiltration.

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A watershed is a drainage area from which water collects and/or feeds a larger body of water.

A tubular shaped product, manufactured to assist with minimization of erosion and sediment transport, depending on the application. May be installed as ditch check, perimeter barrier, inlet protection (drop and curb), and slope interrupter. Fill material may be of natural fiber, straw, hay or recycled products.

Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soils. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.

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