CULVERT AND HIGHWAY DRAINAGE
A culvert is a pipe that carries water from one side of a road, driveway, railway or other obstruction to the other. Culverts will be buried at some
depth below the surface, aligned so as to permit passage of water with minimum obstruction to the watercourse. Culverts also provide access to
commercial developments, homes, farms or livestock facilities, or under haul roads used for mining or forestry.
Culverts are generally short in length and open at both ends and often must withstand substantial traffic loads. While the installation does not
require a large quantity of pipe, the installed drainage structure is extremely important to the overall of the road/drainage interface.
Benefits of HDPE corrugated pipe in culvert applications
- Withstands traffic loads - Culverts are often buried in shallow cover situations where traffic creates a high 'live load' influence on
the pipe. Properly installed HDPE corrugated pipe can withstand AASHTO HS-25 loads with
a minimum 1 ft (0.3 m) of cover for pipe 48-inch (1200 mm) and smaller, or 2 ft (0.6 m) of cover for larger pipe diameters.
- Economical installation - HDPE corrugated pipe installs quickly and economically and with less traffic disruption than other materials. The light weight of the product eliminates the need for heavy material-handling equipment. Pipe joints can be made quickly with bell-and-spigot or mechanical coupling bands.
- Withstands aggressive environments - HDPE corrugated pipe performs well in environments that damage other materials. Acidic soil and runoff, a common problem in some areas, can shorten the life of corrugated steel or concrete pipe to just a few years. HDPE corrugated pipe will last for decades in the same environment and is often the product of choice to reline or replace other drainage products that have deteriorated. HDPE is also highly resistant to abrasion unlike pipe manufactured from metal and concrete. Liners and coatings are unnecessary and are not used on HDPE corrugated pipe.
- Proven and accepted - HDPE corrugated pipe has been in use for more than 40 years. Initially used in agricultural applications, the addition of a smooth interior expanded its use into more rigorous applications in the 1980's. HDPE corrugated pipe is an established, proven product for many markets and applications.
corrugated pipe meets AASHTO M252 or M294, depending on the diameter. Both Type C,
corrugated interior), and Type S, (smooth interior wall) are widely available. HDPE
corrugated pipe is approved by most state Departments of Transportation, local municipalities, and regional agencies for use as culverts
and in other drainage applications.
Corrugated Culvert Pipe - On the Job
Public works officials in Akron, Ohio, south of Cleveland, recently discovered the benefits of using HDPE
culvert pipe. The city's first storm water drainage project using corrugated, high-density PE pipe was completed using more than 1,000 feet of 36-inch
and 48-inch HDPE
culvert pipe to store the excess flow and prevent downstream flooding along a roadway.
"We were able to save approximately two weeks worth
of labor by using the HDPE
culvert (Akron)," said Marv Hermes, an estimator for Spano Brothers
Construction, Inc. "The same project using concrete would have cost approximately 40 percent more. We've done site visits to the Akron system
several times since it's been in the ground, and it's working very well. We think HDPE
Culvert pipe is going to be used more and more for storm water projects in this area."
A small Texas town about 25 miles northeast of Corpus Christi is now among those that have discovered an alternative pipe material to move storm water.
The main access road to the high school and a major street for draining storm water in Aransas Pass, Texas now has thousands of feet of
pipe underneath it.
"For the conditions we had with this project, the water tight HDPE
the only way to go," said contractor Tommy Fox of J.J. Fox Construction. "This area has typically been a place where they used reinforced
concrete pipe (RCP). But the RCP joints just won't hold up if you don't have good solid backfill."