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Culvert Rehabilitation Project
Highway 64 ~ Wake County, North Carolina

BRIEF OVERVIEW: An existing 200+ foot long steel plate culvert running under highway 64 near Wendell, NC was identified by NCDOT as requiring a maintenance plan to extend its service life. After several options were evaluated, an aluminum structural liner plate liner and headwall system was fabricated and supplied by Pomona Pipe Products of Greensboro, NC. The ability for this material to be custom fabricated allowed the new culvert to be customized to line the existing culvert. Traffic in the the area will flow as normal during the re-line process, as this technology allows most of the construction to take place within the existing culvert, underneath the highway. The new culvert which drains Bunn Lake will provide years of service life for the State due to the durability of the aluminum alloy it is manufactured from.

Note: The new headwall section with a fully welded section of liner tunnel attached was custom-sized to fit the existing deteriorating culvert.


An existing 15’-10” span x 10’-8” rise structural steel plate pipe arch culvert, 200 feet long, provides drainage under highway 64 in Zebulon, North Carolina. This culvert was approaching the end of its expected service life and had been identified and targeted for either repair or replacement by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).

The culvert is located beneath a four lane divided highway with a 70 MPH speed limit. During repair or replacement, it was important that traffic flow on this portion of the highway remain unaffected. NCDOT had only 45 days to complete this project because of seasonal upstream lake flooding concerns by the Corps of Engineers.
NCDOT preferred to salvage the existing culvert in order to eliminate the time, cost, safety issues and probable lane closures that would accompany a culvert replacement. A two-flange aluminum Tunnel Liner Plate kit from CONTECH Construction Products Inc. was chosen because it could be assembled inside the existing culvert. The structure was locally provided by Pomona Supply Company of Greensboro, North Carolina.

“An aluminum Tunnel Liner Plate system was chosen for this project because it provided the best overall engineered solution without traffic disruption,” said Chris Beaty with Pomona Supply Company.

During the re-line process, all four lanes of traffic flowed normally because all of the work was being done underneath the highway, inside the existing culvert. The Tunnel Liner Plate was delivered to the jobsite as unassembled curved plates. These plates were bolted together inside the existing culvert to form a culvert within a culvert.

“The key to the success for the installation of the aluminum structural plate liner is three fold,” said Reese Briley, Division 5 Bridge Maintenance Engineer with the NCDOT. “Having the proper tools and equipment is very basic but imperative for a safe work environment. It is also important to have a work site that is properly set up to manage environmental and erosion control concerns as well as convey the live stream and maintain environmental compliance. The most important piece of this project was the cradle to grave assistance, both in and out of the field, provided by Pomona Supply Company.”

Atwell Construction Company installed 205 feet of 14’-11” span x 9’8” rise arch pipe, plate by plate, inside the existing culvert, complete with aluminum structural plate headwalls both upstream and downstream. After the liner plate was assembled inside the existing culvert, grout was pumped from the inside through special ports in order to fill the space between the existing culvert and the Tunnel Liner structure.

“With time restrictions due to lake flooding, little room for staging and construction alongside U.S. Highway 64, the Tunnel Liner Plate was the right choice,” said Timothy A. Meyer, Vice President of Operations with Atwell Construction Company, Inc. “Crews were able to perform installation of the Liner Plate without any environmental violations or delays due to weather. The field support was also a key factor in getting the structure installed quickly. We highly recommend this product for structure rehabilitation.”

This project was completed in less than six weeks without lane closures or other traffic disruptions. The completed culvert serves as the drainage structure under Highway 64 for Bunn Lake.