Fort Bend, Texas, demonstrates flexibility with culvert repair

Gradall XL 4100 IV

Like most government entities, the Fort Bend, Texas, County Road and Bridge Department is under pressure to perform more taxpayer services faster and on a budget. Owner of several excavators, including two Gradall XL 4100 IV models, the department uses them for a very wide variety of jobs: ditching, re-decking bridges, road patching, culvert replacement, setting pipe and even disposing of dead farm animals.

In less than two hours one day, the Fort Bend County Road & Bridge Department totally replaced a 30-ft culvert, using one excavator and no hand work.

“We have 1,661 miles of paved roads,” said Superintendent Greg Zook, “so every day we have them going out doing jobs like this. After the culvert repair, the machine was assigned to other jobs in the afternoon.”

The operator drove the XL 4100 IV to the culvert site, avoiding the need for a lowboy trailer. First, he excavated soil and then removed the deteriorated corrugated pipe.

“This happens all the time,” said Don Massey, general manager of fleet operations. “Fertilizer and herbicides eat away at the corrugated pipe and the drainage ditch collapses. We have to do a lot of replacements.”

Next, the operator used the excavator to remove soil to the proper depth, using a laser device. He set new 36-in. plastic pipe and filled it with stabilized sand, using the boom tilt to create appropriate slopes for drainage at each end. Soil removed during the excavation was used to create the finished road grade, which finally received a topping of crushed concrete.

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