Louisiana finds efficient way to repair culvert

Case Studies
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Worst case scenario—a culvert located under a roadway fails, causing extensive damage and lengthy traffic delays. This can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs and is a real problem today. Many culverts that were installed 40 to 50 years ago are now past their design life. Some have failed, while many are in bad need of repair or replacement. Rehabilitating a damaged culvert before it fails saves states, cities, counties and transportation authorities both time and money.

In Kentwood, La., on Highway LA-1053 west of I-55, a 48-in. diameter corrugated metal culvert pipe (CMP) rusted and wore down to about 44 in. in diameter. In addition, the majority of the bottom of the 40-ft run of pipe was completely missing. The Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LA DOTD) needed the culvert repaired with minimal disruption to the road and to prevent any part of it from washing out.

The solution

After speaking with LA DOTD Area Engineer Phil Graves, Snap-Tite Regional Sales Manager Trevor Cone arranged a demonstration to rehabilitate the damaged culvert using a 42-in. Snap-Tite high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe liner. The HDPE Snap-Tite culvert-lining pipe has a patented male/female machining at each end of the HDPE, which allows it to be “snapped” together, piece-by-piece, and pushed into the full length of an existing pipe. Snap-Tite also meets American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standard M326 for rehabilitating culverts.

The demonstration illustrated to LA DOTD personnel both how the pipe is joined together on a project site and how easily their own crews could do this type of installation. Twenty people, mostly from the LA DOTD, attended the demonstration.

The installation

The installation was completed in only three hours. The whole process involved snapping the pipe ends together using only a come-along and chains, inserting the liner into the old damaged culvert, and then filling in the annular space and any voids between the old CMP and new liner with grout. The LA DOTD crew installed 40 ft of 42-in.-diam. DR 32.5 pipe liner made up of one 24-ft section and one 16-ft section that were snapped together.

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