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Memphis, TN
GeoSpray®: Twin Concrete Box Culverts

Project Overview

In early 2015, the City of Memphis hired Jacobs Engineering to design a
rehabilitation solution for the Sears crosstown box culvert system. This
inspection included the evaluation of twin 8.5’ x 8’ concrete box culverts, each a length of 500 linear ft, that are part of the Madison Heights drainage basin. After completing an inspection of the system, the engineering firm considered several options for the rehabilitation. The firm considered slip lining the culvert as wellas applying a spray-on lining system, including geopolymer mortar.

A full inspection of the system concluded that the box culverts had severe
corrosion, spalling and cracking that were the source of infiltration and inflow, as well as minor corrosion to some of the existing steel structure, but in general the steel cage of the existing box was still structurally sound. This is typical of most concrete storm water culverts where the true deterioration has affected some level of the steel but the actual box is still structurally sound.

While considering the options for rehabilitation, the engineering firm determined that slip lining of the box structure with a round pipe would cause too great of a loss of cross sectional area as well as hydraulic performance in the critical basin area. Dig and replace options were eliminated due to the construction of a building over the existing culvert after its initial installation. The final decision was made to develop a proposal based on a structural enhancement of the existing structure using geopolymer mortar linings.

Solution

The project was advertised in November of 2016 with the option of structural
enhancement of the twin box culverts and GeoSpray® geopolymer mortar was
specified as the approved product. Inland Pipe Rehabilitation, LLC (IPR) was
awarded the project in early 2017. The design of the box culvert rehabilitation
included applying a minimum of 1.5” of geopolymer mortar to recover and
protect the steel structure as well as fill in voids, cracks and other defects that
were allowing water infiltration into the culvert from the surrounding soil.

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