KCRC Develops Low-cost, Low-Impact Process to Extend Culvert Life
The Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) has developed a low-cost and low-impact repair technique for the organization’s steel culverts with deteriorated flow lines. The process involves placing a new steel reinforced concrete culvert invert that is tied to the existing structure. The repair is expected to extend the life of the culvert at least another 25 years at a fraction of the cost of a more substantial upgrade.
To accomplish the repair, water flow is diverted from the barrel, which is then powerwashed to remove loose material like scale and algae. Where possible, anchor bolts are attached to existing splice bolts and reinforcement such as galvanized or epoxy coated wire fabric is added. Concrete is then is placed on the bottom of the culvert. While concrete cures, vertical walls are formed along the barrell’s haunches which then receive anchors, reinforcement and concrete. Upon completion, forms are removed and flow is reestablished.
In addition to its cost benefits, this type of repair has less impact to stream and traffic flow than a complete culvert replacement.
The repair is expected to extend the life of the culvert at least another 25 years until funds allow for a more substantial upgrade. The repair process has less impact on the stream and traffic flow than a total replacement and, given the repair’s relative low-cost, KCRC can address more culverts per year with the same funds. This cost efficiency helps to keep the county network of culverts in better condition.