Hanson Pipe and Precast Replaces Collapsed Metal Culvert with Concrete on Major Canadian Highway

Hanson Pipe & Precast provided 15 pieces of 2,400-mm diameter concrete pipe on March 2 for the eastbound lane of Highway 417, in Ottawa, Ontario, after road contractors filling potholes discovered the collapse of a deteriorating 30-year-old metal culvert beneath the road. This is the second culvert collapse in two years for Highway 417, and was due to increased water drainage. Hanson responded immediately, supplying the concrete pipe within 24 hours.

“The country’s aging infrastructure continues to be an issue of concern particularly with regard to public safety,” said Bob Christensen, senior vice president, Hanson Building Products, East, in a written press statement. “Hanson was glad to service its community with a structurally sound, sustainable and reliable precast concrete product.”

Metal pipes typically have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years, while concrete structures are engineered to last a lifetime. According to Ontario’s Concrete Pipe Association, many of the 50,000 or more culverts in Ontario, including more than 320 on Highway 417, were installed 30 or more years ago. Pipe failure before the intended life expectancy has been related to pollutants causing earlier corrosion, as well as improper installation, maintenance and poor specification.

“Alternative pipe products require very specific soil conditions and other installation requirements in order to be successful,” added Christensen in the press release. “Concrete can withstand large amounts of weight and is not affected by weather, soil or other factors.”

Highway 417 was reopened on March 5 and the Ministry of Transportation is continuing to address the testing of pipes and problem areas in the Province.

Hanson Pipe & Precast is a division of Hanson Building Products North America.