In this study, we performed simulations of turbulent flow over rectangular ribs transversely mounted on one side of a plane in a channel, with the other side being smooth. The separation between ribs is large enough to avoid forming stable vortices in the spacing, which exhibits k-type, or sand-grain roughness. The Reynolds number Reτ of our representative direct numerical simulation case is 460 based on the smooth-wall friction velocity and the channel half-width. The roughness height h is estimated as 110 wall units based on the rough-wall friction velocity. The velocity profile and kinetic energy budget verify the presence of an equilibrium, logarithmic layer at y≳2h. In the roughness sublayer, however, a significant turbulent energy flux was observed. A high-energy region is formed by the irregular motions just above the roughness. Visualizations of vortical streaks, disrupted in all three directions in the roughness sublayer, indicate that the three-dimensional flow structure of sand-grain roughness is replicated by the two-dimensional roughness, and that this vortical structure is responsible for the high energy production. The difference in turbulence structure between smooth- and rough-wall layers can also be seen in other flow properties, such as anisotropy and turbulence length scales.