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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Investigation of Box Culvert Uplift
Project Researcher: Daris Ormesher, SDDOT
Project Manager: Dan Strand
Research Period: -
Status: Approved
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:Several box culverts in South Dakota apparently rise during winter months. It has not been established whether the culverts are in fact rising or whether the roadway approaches settle, but formation of frost lenses above and/or below the box culvert seem to be the most likely explanation. Whatever the cause, the result is a bump in the highway during the winter.

Research is needed to determine the nature and cause of these movements and identify actions which might be taken to reduce their effects.


Research Objectives:
1  Determine the mechanism of displacement.
2  Determine methods for minimizing the effect of uplift due to frost heave for existing box culverts.
3  Develop recommendations for design of backfill and insulation of box culverts.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the Technical Panel to review project scope and workplan.
2  Review and summarize applicable literature relevant to this study.
3  Determine the number of existing box culverts that are affected by frost heaving.
4  Collect soil samples to determine soil characteristics surrounding existing box culverts affected by frost heaving.
5  Identify possible frost heave prevention methods for existing box culverts. Take into account hydraulic requirements and cost estimates.
6  Install approved methods on a limited number of existing box culverts selected by the department. Collect required seasonal survey data (elevation) before and after the correction procedure.
7  Investigate performance of existing box culverts that already have insulation board in the backfill.
8  Evaluate current procedures for obtaining recommendations regarding backfill and the use of insulation board. Does the need for site specific soil investigations exist?
9  Submit a final report and an executive summary summarizing the literature, research methodology, data, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
10  Present findings and conclusions to SDDOT Research Review Board upon completion of the project.

Documents Available:

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