Culvert Pipe Materials and Durability: Making the Right Selection for Minnesota

Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 12:15pm

About the Event

While easy to overlook, the vast network of culvert pipes across the state of Minnesota is a vital component of our water resources and transportation infrastructure. Historically, the most common material types for culverts in Minnesota have been concrete and metal pipe, and culvert designs have not directly incorporated regional variability in soils, water chemistry, and other environmental factors. Over the last decade, alternative pipe materials such as plastic and coated metal pipe have emerged, expanding the design options for culverts.

In this seminar, Jeff Marr reviewed the current design practices of culverts and storm sewer pipes in Minnesota. He also presented a study that took steps toward updating culvert design methodology. Marr discussed how the study began evaluating the design, installation, and performance of culverts with the broad vision of improving culvert service life and lowering life-cycle costs through improved pipe materials and advanced design methods. He also highlighted performance issues for culverts in Minnesota and provided recommendations for improving performance and advancing culvert design.

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Jeff Marr is the associate director of engineering and facilities at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL), University of Minnesota. Marr oversees the applied research team at SAFL, which currently has projects in urban stormwater, hydraulic modeling, wind and water power, river engineering/restoration, and technology development for field monitoring. Marr's personal research interests include water hydraulics, river engineering and restoration, sediment transport dynamics, and wind engineering.