The problems facing every local government agency—eroding transportation infrastructure and limited funding along with minimizing road closures during construction. Corrugated metal pipe created the best solution possible just outside of Rochester, Minnesota.
Installed in 1972, a concrete culvert located a half mile downstream from a large farming operation housing over 2,000 head of cattle and 9,000 head of swine, was quickly deteriorating. After another local operation unexpectedly started carrying heavy loads over the culvert, the timeline for replacement had to be shortened. Signage was installed to limit weight and barrels were placed to deter traffic away from the worst parts of the crumbling concrete. Olmsted County Public Works needed a cost-effective solution quickly before the less than 50-year-old concrete structure collapsed. Closing the road would create a five-mile detour for local residents and a business on the other side of the culvert.
Jeff Webster, a Highway Supervisor with the Olmsted County Public Works Department was tasked with determining a solution to replace the failing concrete culvert. His decision criteria included service life in elevated Ph levels due to runoff from the feed lot operation, installation time to limit the length of the road closure, timeline of delivery for the replacement culvert and the total costs of the un-budgeted replacement project. Webster stated, “We looked at the different options including reinforced concrete pipe, a concrete box culvert and corrugated metal pipe. We wanted the new culvert to help align the water flow with the natural flow of the crick. After comparing our options, two runs of corrugated metal pipe, one polymer and one galvanized, was the best solution.” One 42” diameter polymer coated CMP run would handle the constant flow of water from the crick, being highly resistant to the elevated PH levels in the water. With the long 100+ year service life of polymer coated CMP, it will outlast the less than 50 year old existing concrete structure. A second 42” galvanized parallel run would normally be dry but was designed to handle higher flow rates during large rainfall events. In materials alone, the twin 42” corrugated metal pipe solution costs were a quarter of the cost of the concrete box culvert option and half of the cost of the RCP option. Webster went on to say, “aside from saving us over $15,000 on the project, we only had to close the road for two days, not even two full days. The concrete installation was expected to take over a week, barring any rainfalls. Metal Culverts was able to quickly manufacture and deliver both pipes, allowing us to complete the project before the other culvert collapsed.”
Metal Culverts, Inc is honored to have been able to work with Olmsted County to provide a long-term, cost-effective solution on this concrete culvert replacement before the road became impassable.