Over time, previously built culverts start to lose their structural ability and begin to fail. A culvert replacement is one option depending on the situation and the amount of corrosive or abrasive damage to the culvert invert. However, time, budget, resourcing, and rerouting traffic are substantial factors in the project. So what’s an alternative that reduces project lead times, has less impact on budgets, and also prevents disruptive repairs?

Culvert rehabilitation slip lining offers a trenchless solution that expedites project timelines, relies on fewer resources and materials, and has a minimal environmental impact. When an existing culvert suffers from faulty installation, corrosion, washouts, and cracking, it can create dangerous situations that result in costly repairs and potential health risks. So here’s what you need to know about culvert slip lining and its benefits.

What Is Culvert Slip Lining?

For decades, culvert slip lining has helped improve the performance and longevity of culvert structures. Culvert slip lining is a beneficial, cost-effective pipe repair method whose objective is the repair of structurally deficient channels. The concept of culvert slip lining is simple: inserting a new, smaller piece of pipe into a larger existing one to provide an efficient and economical approach to long-lasting repairs.

The preservation and rehabilitation of failing culverts are crucial to maintaining existing infrastructure and preventing hazardous situations, including culvert cave-ins. Culvert slip lining is a trenchless method that improves culvert strength, and repairs structural integrity. Before insertion, the hydraulic and structural properties of the slip lining material are thoroughly inspected to provide sufficient pipe support. After insertion, grout is pumped into the annular space between the liner and host structure, sealing the slip liner in place. After installation, the existing culvert’s life span and strength become reinforced.

Understanding Culvert Inspection

Culvert inspection is crucial for determining the type of material used for manufacturing and installation. Every type of culvert material requires a specialized set of design or installation requirements and information to perform proper evaluations and inspections. Some differences and nuances of culvert types help inspectors accurately assess structural adequacy, determine various culvert rehabilitation candidate approvals, and service life estimation. Proper culvert inspection consists of the following:

  • Comparing inspection data such as invert clogging, perforations, settlement, cracking, shape-changing, joint separation, and more to help indicate worsening conditioning patterns.
  • Following applicable OSHA requirements and agency guidelines for inspector safety precautions, including air quality, fall protection, and water flow surges.
  • Noting and investigating cracks, spalling, and deterioration on culvert walls, seam issues, missing rivets and bolts, and buckling structural performance.
  • Inspecting joint alignment and integrity, hydraulic performance, changes in public transport surfaces, measuring and recording cross-sectional shape dimensions, and more.

Furthermore, it’s advised that all inspection professionals have proper training in key culvert inspection aspects, including becoming familiar with design features and nuances of various culvert types and materials. Lastly, specialty firms, including inspection services, help evaluate culverts based on proper criteria sets, familiarizing themselves with proper design procedures, standard installation practices, and more.

Rehabilitation Versus Replacement

There are key situations where culvert repair and replacement have their place. Deciding between repair and replacement depends on the case, including damage extent, culvert distress, site conditions, public transport impact, initial costs, funding availability, safety issues, and more. Repair and rehabilitation are often less expensive and time-consuming than a complete replacement and less disruptive to the traveling public.

Moreover, repair and rehabilitation allow for the conservation of material resources, while preserving budget costs are considerable benefits of maintaining an existing culvert. Another consideration is the cost and time needed for engineering services for repair and rehabilitation versus a complete replacement. If a culvert remains structurally, hydraulically, and geometrically stable, rehabilitation is a logical approach for longevity.

Benefits of Culvert Slip Lining

With everything to know about culvert slip lining, there are many benefits that inspectors and clients get from culvert rehabilitation. Workers will not have to sacrifice space for top-of-the-line equipment, and the repair can offer 100 years or more of culvert service life.

Environmentally Friendly

Culvert replacement can interrupt the existing aquatic and vegetative life that surrounds an existing culvert area. Not only does it impact the vegetation and animals within its vicinity, but also the traffic from roadways or railways.

InfraSteel slip liner solutions are executed with steel and concrete materials, which have been shown over time to be benign to the environment. In addition, culvert slip lining rehabilitation is a noninvasive repair method that limits the amount of impact to surface traffic and the surrounding environment.

Easier Permitting Process

Because of the reduced “in-stream” work needed for culvert rehabilitation, culvert slip lining services are significantly easier to permit. For comparison, culvert replacement takes considerable time to finish, which can involve ripping up the ground and using more materials to create an entirely new culvert.

As for culvert rehabilitation, there’s less downtime and fewer steps for installation. Due to the quick pace of culvert slip lining rehabilitation completion, contractors spend less time in active waterways and get out of streams faster.

Lower Public Impact

Standard culvert replacement can become an incredibly invasive, time-consuming project that impacts the oncoming traffic flow. Moreover, it can cause excessive noise that disturbs commuters or surrounding neighborhoods.

Alternatively, culvert slip lining rehabilitation has little-to-no traffic or railway disturbances. Because work occurs on the shoulder of the road, it allows for normal traffic flow to continue. The trenchless rehabilitation solution reduces the impact and requirement for detours that affect both commuter and emergency vehicle traffic. When culvert rehabilitation slip linings are used, there’s no need for excessive debris removal, excavation, or traffic rerouting.

Decreased Utility Impact

Not only is culvert rehabilitation a safer alternative to culvert replacement, but it won’t negatively impact utilities. Only minimal digging occurs with culvert slip lining rehabilitation, leading to less strain on surrounding systems. Moreover, workers can finish culvert rehabilitation projects faster and with fewer utility disturbances and injuries to workers.

InfraSteel offers all the benefits of culvert rehabilitation services, including total costs, environmental impact, adaptability, structural integrity, and more. We’ve dedicated ourselves to servicing our nation’s aging stormwater infrastructure by providing our customers with high-quality structural steel pipe solutions. Our culvert rehabilitation service gives states, counties, and municipalities a cost-effective choice that won’t result in culvert replacements and that can quickly meet flow capacity requirements. Moreover, our culvert rehabilitation process allows for superior load-bearing capabilities. If you have any questions regarding our culvert rehabilitation services, our dedicated, experienced team will happily guide you.