Summit County, Colo., fixes damaged pipes without disturbing road

Case Studies
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The Summit County Colorado Road Department is responsible for several miles of roads and culverts in a popular skiing and tourist area of Colorado. A culvert structure made of four pipes was underneath a newly paved, busy residential road that also was under Summit County’s authority. The culvert pipes were eroded and close to failure.


One of the many streams that feed into the Colorado River ran through these culverts. Since the flow of water is constant, work on this structure had to occur when the flows were at their lowest. Therefore, due to the poor condition of the pipes, flow from the stream was being severely restricted, especially during high-flow times such as the spring snow melt. The area was also prone to flooding. This meant a short window to perform the work. Summit County needed to fix these culverts quickly, cost-efficiently and without disrupting the road so as not to inconvenience the residents who use it every day.


Snap-Tite representative Russ Wosk presented the county with a no-dig solution: Snap-Tite culvert lining pipe. The pipe system completely rehabilitates culverts without shutting down roads. In addition, due to the continual flow of water through the damaged culverts, the pipe system was a perfect choice of material because it can be installed in water. Made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the pipe has a patented male/female machining at each end of the HDPE pipe that is “snapped” together, piece by piece, and pushed into the full length of an existing pipe.


Summit County received 140 ft of 28-in. pipe, 70 ft of 36-in. pipe and 70 ft of 24-in. pipe to reline the four culverts. Crews also worked with two 28-in. Hydro-Bells, one 36-in. Hydro-Bell and one 24-in. Hydro-Bell to attach to the end of the pipe. The Hydro-Bell is an inlet control device designed to snap onto the pipe to help increase flow in times of high water flow and potential flooding.


Summit County’s own crew handled the culvert lining installation. The crew first inserted one end of the pipe liner into the damaged culvert. Next, the other end was snapped on to a new piece of pipe, joining the male and female ends together. The process continued one at a time until each culvert was fully lined with the new pipe. The Hydro-Bells were attached at the inlet ends of each pipe. Finally, any annular space between the old culverts and new liner was filled in with grout.


The crew did not have to dig up or disturb the newly paved road in order to restore any of the damaged pipes, and the residents continued to use the road during installation.

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