Ohio Department of Transportation Selects Woolpert for Complex Culvert Projects

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Woolpert has been awarded a contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) District 6 to replace culverts on two major highways, including one of the most heavily traveled roadways in the Columbus area.

Woolpert is a national architecture, engineering and geospatial firm headquartered in Dayton. Woolpert will provide culvert and retaining-wall design, hydraulic engineering, roadway tie-ins and safety upgrades for U.S. Route 23, between Lewis Center and the city of Delaware in Delaware County, and Ohio Route 423 in southern Marion County.

The larger and more complex of the two projects involves replacing 60-year-old culverts on U.S. 23, a major north-south roadway through Columbus that carries an average of 35,000 vehicles per day. To minimize the project’s impact on traffic, Woolpert will stage construction over five phases rather than the typical two and maintain four open lanes at all times on weekdays.

In addition, Woolpert’s plan must take into account the diagonal position of the 120-ft long culvert in relation to the roadway.  This, in combination with the five phases of construction, will prevent the use of conventional precast concrete units and require a customized replacement culvert to be cast in place.

“We’re pleased to leverage our company’s experience and expertise to design and build a culvert replacement that achieves ODOT’s objectives without major disruptions to the traveling public,” said Woolpert project manager Ron Mattox. “This project will give Woolpert the opportunity to implement a unique methodology of construction we’ve developed to address several levels of constraints.”

Another complexity with the U.S. 23 project involves the protection of surrounding properties. These include a structure owned by the Ohio Historical Society and listed on the National Register of Historic Places to the east of the site, and the Stratford Ecological Center to the west. The second project, the replacement of the 60-ft long culvert on U.S. 432 in Marion County, is less complex, although construction activity will be limited strictly to the right of way due to the bordering cemetery. The road will be closed for approximately 12 weeks during the course of the project.

Construction on the ODOT District 6 culvert replacement projects will begin in 2019.

Woolpert provides professional architecture, engineering and geospatial services to clients in public and private sectors. Founded in 1911, the firm has more than 600 professionals in 25 offices located throughout the United States.

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Sharon Bueno is the Managing Editor of Trenchless Technology magazine.

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