TD News, Number 3, 2003 - Internet Web Site: '' Send an e-mail request for username and password to: ''

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Trenchless Technology for Replacing Culverts

Many thousands of culverts installed below Forest Service roads during the 1950s and 1960s must be replaced or rehabilitated. In some cases, a culvert’s design won’t allow enough water to pass. Sometimes a culvert is replaced to improve fish passage. Trenchless technology (culvert installation or relining without excavating the road prism) can alleviate many problems. Traffic will not be blocked while the culvert is being replaced or relined and far less soil will be disturbed.

SDTDC is studying the use of trenchless technology and will review pipe ramming, tunneling, microtunneling, horizontal auger boring, pipe busting and jacking, and other techniques. Rehabilitation technologies, such as sliplining, cured-in-place, spot repair, and grouting, will also be reviewed.

This review will address guidelines for deciding when the trenchless option should be considered. The review will include environmental effects, site geometry, geotechnical considerations, site disturbance, spoils, access, and relative costs. This report should be available during the spring of 2004.

Photo of trenchless technology.

For more information on trenchless technology, contact Charles Aldrich, project leader (phone: 909–599–1267, ext. 281; fax: 909–592–2309; e-mail:

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