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Precast Concrete Culverts Speed Repair of Washed Out Road

3 minutes estimated reading time

Updated on March 8th, 2024

Heavy, rapid rainfall caused flooding, washing out State Road 79 near Zanesville, Ohio. Worse yet, the aging storm pipe, being used to divert a local stream underneath the roadway, failed. This caused a complete pavement collapse and the road caved in, halting traffic until repairs could be made.

car that fell off the flood damaged road into culvert

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) needed a fast fix, calling in local contractors who frequently work with the agency. Each of these contractors knew the best solution would be a box culvert and each called Mack Industries, considered a leader in the precast concrete box culvert industry.

Although the initial specifications called for an 8’x6’ string of box culverts, which would be used to divert the stream and shore up the roadway, Mack Industries happened to have in its yard a set of 8’x7’ box culverts that could do the job. In total, the repairs and reconstruction required 25 sections of precast concrete box culverts, or 170 total feet of culverts, all supplied by Mack.

Durable and Long-Lasting

A box culvert, in this case a precast box culvert made of concrete. is a popular choice of pipe and supplies more square footage or area for water diversion. A diversion of some kind is necessary when a road traverses a stream or river; the engineers need a conduit that can handle a large volume of water in addition to one that will not get blocked by debris carried downstream such as branches or logs.

Box culverts can offer a broader pipe opening and are less likely to get obstructed. Transportation departments across the country are replacing metal pipes with concrete box culverts as they renovate aging infrastructure. Metal pipes will rust over time and can become blocked or misshapen, whereas precast concrete box culverts will last for decades.

Each culvert is individually designed for the job specifications and the site conditions. Dimensions and wall thicknesses will vary, with wall thicknesses determined by the amount of earth covering the top, and/or the load-bearing weight required.

Design Benefits of Box Culverts

  • Manufactured in accordance with ASTM & AASHTO standards and loading specifications
  • Custom designs available upon request
  • DOT approved either 4-sided or 3-sided box culverts
  • Structural calculations with registered PE stamp
  • CAD submitted packages
  • Custom skewed sections
  • Ease of installation
  • Durable
  • Low maintenance

Rapid Solution

The Mack Team prides themselves on their strong coordination skills to solve problems without impacting existing orders.

A critical aspect of the style box culvert needed for the roadway was also a part of measurements ordered for another job, specifically, the thickness of the box culvert wall. These existing box culverts required wall thicknesses which could withstand a load involving a crane to stand on top of the culvert, a unique specification requiring strength to hold heavier loads.

The box culverts in inventory helped Mack fulfill the ODOT request within 24 hours. The roadway required a lot of prep work to get it ready for the new culvert installation. The contractor had to use a total of seven pumps to drain the water and then dry the site, including (4) 8” pumps, (2) 6” pumps and (1) 4” pump.

Shipping Radius & Sizes

Mack has shipped precast concrete box culverts to various sites throughout Ohio and beyond. Although the standard radius would fall within 100-150 miles of their Ohio plant, the company has shipped them as far as 500 miles away.

Mack Industries can pour precast box culverts in almost any size. Standard box culverts have four sides, but the company can also cast three-sided box culverts that can be installed over a waterway when EPA regulations require a solution that doesn’t disturb the streambed. Maximum span for a box culvert is 24-feet wide with a minimum height of four feet. The bigger the span, the thicker the wall. Box culverts can be cast straight or constructed with a skew or bend.

Beyond quality casting and products, contractors can trust Mack Industries for its service, engineering and speed of delivery. Call Mack Industries at (800) 482-3111.