Letter

October 2009 » Departments

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Culvert repair
As a regular reader of CE News, I, along with members of the National Corrugated Steel Pipe Association (NCSPA), were disappointed when we saw the way corrugated steel pipe (CSP) was portrayed in the article, —€œQuick Culvert Repair,—€ in the August 2009 issue. Most will agree that transportation departments at all levels of government are faced with the daunting challenge of repairing and maintaining our nation—€™s failing infrastructure. However, it is critical when describing these challenges that consideration is given to all aspects of a project, such as the environmental conditions, not just the material. In fact, CSP has been used successfully under our nation—€™s highways for over 100 years.

While the majority of CSP that was installed in the past was galvanized-coated, over the last half century new coatings —€” namely polymer-coated and aluminized Type 2 CSP —€” have come to the forefront. Field performance has proven that, when specified within the industry-recommended environmental conditions, galvanized-CSP can provide a service life up to 50 years, while polymer-coated and aluminized Type 2 CSP can provide a service life up to 100 years. However, like any material in any facet of highway construction —€” from the roadway—€™s base material to the pavement and the pavement marking to sign sheeting —€” specifying and correctly installing the most suitable material for a particular environment is an absolute necessity for that product to perform up to industry standards and recommendations.

Polymer-coated, aluminized Type 2, and galvanized-coated CSP can all be supplied in varying gages and utilized in a wide variety of fill heights and a myriad of design considerations. Please see www.ncspa.org for more information on products, applications, testing, and field-performance evaluations and to purchase NCSPA—€™s Corrugated Steel Pipe Design Manual.

I certainly applaud the Delaware Department of Transportation for utilizing a new, efficient, and cost-effective methodology to replace the deteriorating culvert mentioned in the article. Unfortunately, the article failed to discuss all angles of the story —€” including the possibility that CSP with a different coating may not have deteriorated to the point of replacement.

Michael McGough, P.E., NCSPA


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