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Eldridge Buttermilk Road Culvert

Challenge

A paved rural road running north and south through Eldridge, Iowa, Buttermilk Road had an existing concrete box culvert in place that was deteriorating and in poor condition. The City of Eldridge wanted to address the issue before it became a safety concern or limited vehicle traffic.
 
The structure on Buttermilk Road also needed to be widened to meet current regulatory requirements. With large farm equipment, such as tractors and combines, traveling up and down Buttermilk Road during certain parts of the year, the City of Eldridge wanted to provide more room and make negotiating the roadway easier for drivers.
 

Solution

After analyzing the existing concrete box culvert, Shive-Hattery determined that it was beyond repair and needed to be replaced. A hydraulic survey was conducted to record the features of nearby water to evaluate potential erosion, water-level fluctuations, and regulatory requirements, as well as to analyze the interactions between a new box culvert and the water it would carry.
 
Based on the results of the survey, a hydraulic design was created, and plans were put together for a new 10-foot-wide by 6-foot-tall precast concrete box culvert with cast-in-place end sections designed by Shive-Hattery. The precast option allowed the culvert sections to install quickly to keep traffic delays to a minimum; backfilling was able to begin immediately so that road construction could be completed. The bridge was also widened to meet current requirements.
 
A guardrail was necessary for the box culvert, along with minor shoulder and side-slope roadway work to strengthen the roadway, prevent settling, and ensure that the precast concrete box culvert can be maintained to last for as long as possible.
 

Impact

With a wider structure in place, the traffic traveling up and down Buttermilk Road now has more room, making the bridge easier to negotiate when vehicles and farm equipment meet. The City of Eldridge no longer has to worry about the bridge not meeting width requirements.
 
The new precast concrete box culvert installed quickly to reduce any inconvenience to community members. With the new culvert in place, Buttermilk Road is set to safely serve vehicles and agricultural equipment for decades.
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