The New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (NBDTI) faces numerous challenges in maintaining and renewing their aging culvert infrastructure. While bridge-sized culverts (3000 mm diameter and larger) have historically been given significant focus, an effort to better manage Large Culverts (over 1200 mm to under 3000 mm diameter) only began in 2008. Despite this effort, managing the Large Culvert infrastructure has continued to prove challenging, so NBDTI in conjunction with Englobe Corp. reviewed NBDTI’s existing culvert infrastructure and management practices, on the entire process from inspection, project conception, pre-design, design, rehabilitation, and construction. This research culminated in a report summarizing the state of NBDTI’s Large Culvert management with a set of recommendations for developing an improved approach to Large Culvert Renewal in New Brunswick.
Further work was completed in Phase 2 of the study focusing on several of the opportunity areas identified through the Phase 1 research and consultations, as well as discussions with the NBDTI steering committee. One of the main foci for this part of the research was to estimate the ongoing budgetary needs to manage the backlog of large culvert renewals in the medium-term and to make the program sustainable in the long-term. This task required estimating the condition of the existing inventory and estimating the replacement value of each large culvert. Other focus areas included developing a maintenance plan, renewal options decision tree, and guidance around district training, renewal of large culverts under large fills, and developing a definition of emergency as it pertains to large culvert replacement.