The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) needed to inventory and assess the conditions of cross-pipe culverts along primary roads throughout the Commonwealth. In support of this goal, and working as a subconsultant, WSSI staff collected data on 7,900 culverts across 28 counties. The work was completed under the prime consultant’s contract with VDOT for Statewide Maintenance Consultant Services.

The Challenge

Because these culverts were not previously mapped, they first needed to be located along the roads, and then assessed, while maintaining strict adherence to safety protocols due to the hazardous work environment along the roadside. Staffing the project was also a challenge due to the sheer volume of culverts spread out throughout the Commonwealth.

Our Solution

WSSI’s statewide presence proved to be an asset to the prime consultant, who hired WSSI for portions of the work that spread across Virginia: from the Appalachian Highlands in far southwestern Virginia, along the Blue Ridge Mountains of western Virginia, to northern Virginia, throughout central and southern Virginia, into Hampton Roads, and along the Eastern Shore. WSSI worked with the prime consultant to develop a mobile application to be used by our field staff, who were equipped with tablets used for data collection. Field data was uploaded daily to an online database as staff worked. As part of each assessment, staff noted the pipe shape, determined the material used, measured the size of each culvert and the depth from the surface, the pipe length, and noted pipe end type. Additionally, staff noted how many ends there were on each culvert, and the number of lines, and the pipe direction. Staff assessed the pipe condition using a rating system noting condition, obstruction, joint rating, erosion, vegetation, and end wall. Lastly, staff noted any maintenance required for each culvert, marked the culvert locations, photographed the culverts, and recorded any additional comments.

The original task order included a small number of counties, however, due to VDOT’s satisfaction with our good work, VDOT extended our contract twice. Altogether, WSSI staff collected data on 7,900 culverts across 28 counties in Virginia. Traveling across eight of the nine VDOT districts, WSSI staff covered the following counties: Arlington, Prince William, Clarke, Warren, Rappahannock, Greene, Giles, Montgomery, Floyd, Pulaski, Bland, Wythe, Grayson, Scott, Campbell, Pittsylvania, Charlotte, Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Prince Edward, Nottoway, Dinwiddie, Brunswick, Sussex, Prince George, Isle of Wight, Northampton, and Accomack Counties.

Project Facts
  • Owner
    Virginia Department of Transportation
  • Location
    Virginia, statewide
  • Size
    7,900 culverts
  • Amy Connelly, PWS, PWD, LEED AP

    Gainesville, VA