Arizona DOT turns to lining system for “no dig” culvert rehab

Dec. 19, 2014

The Yuma District of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) encompasses a large area of Arizona, bordered by California on the west and Mexico to the south. The district maintains more than 3,000 total miles of highway and interstate, and its plan to widen several highways within the district led officials and workers to seek out ways to rehab several aging culverts.

The district itself is committed to professionally developing its employees while empowering them to provide the best solutions for their customers. A recent culvert rehabilitation project utilizing the patented Snap-Tite joining system enabled them with the perfect opportunity to do that.

The Snap-Tite Culvert Lining System has been advantaged in several projects nationwide. Protocols call for pre-cut sections of machined HDPE pipe (6 ft to 63 ft OD) are delivered to the worksite, and after an inclusion of a gasket the sections are “snapped” together one by one, to be then pushed through the length of the existing deteriorated pipe. After grouting in place, the characteristics of the HDPE pipe deliver a better flow, a watertight seal at all joints, and an extended culvert lifespan.

Michael Jones, PE maintenance engineer with the Yuma District, arranged for a total of twelve people from each of the three maintenance organizations within the district to work on the project and be trained in the procedure. They also videotaped the installation for use in educating the seven other districts of the state.

Having confidence in the material and procedure from the previous experience, the Snap-Tite slip-lining process itself eliminated excavation, avoided any disturbance to the roadway, and proved harmless to the environment. And, by re-lining the host pipe with non-degrading HDPE, an unlimited life expectancy would be achieved, resulting in future savings.

With full technical support during the planning and execution of the project, the Yuma District successfully completed rehabilitation of the three corrugated metal pipe (CMP) culverts—two 30-inch CMPs and one 24-inch CMP, totaling 221 ft.

Since right-of-way space along the roadside was limited and work space tight, 10-ft pre-cut sections of Snap-Tite were delivered to the worksite. Mike Wedel with Hydro-Watt, Snap-Tite’s manufacturer’s representative for Arizona, provided 171 ft of 24-inch and 90 ft of 20-inch Snap-Tite pipe. He also provided the grout used to fill the annular space between the host pipe and the Snap-Tite, and grout to fill the space left by the soil that had been eroded away.

Since ADOT’s own crew did the work and had their own backhoe, chains and cables needed to complete the install, the project proved economical. “The Yuma District saved a substantial amount of money by receiving training and completing the work themselves,” said Stephen Boggess, director of sales for Snap-Tite.

Snap-Tite provided all the culvert site evaluations, full technical support and training for the Yuma District employees. Snap-Tite representatives also worked with a local ready-mix company and the admixture supplier to formulate the grout mix used on the project.

“The Snap-Tite system is simple to learn, and now the Yuma District crews can take the knowledge they’ve gained from this pilot project and show the entire state of Arizona a better way to fix culverts across the state,” said Boggess. 

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