Jeff Marr, Research Fellow, SAFHL - Hydraulic Lab
Culvert pipe material selection has traditionally been a relatively simple task involving metal or concrete pipe. In recent years, the addition of coated metal and plastic pipe has led the federal government to implement a rule requiring the consideration of alternative pipe materials. The current MnDOT Drainage Manual provides limited guidance on the selection of pipe material and lacks detailed information on the influence of environmental conditions on pipe durability in Minnesota. To provide this information, the availability and suitability of existing data, as well as the practices associated with predicting pipe life spans, must be evaluated. This research conducted an initial feasibility study for a larger project to update the MnDOT Drainage Manual. The goal was to identify knowledge gaps, produce a research plan to guide future research, and draw any conclusions possible using the data available.