City of Ottawa Culvert Renewal Cost Estimation

Dylan Dowling and Lyndia Stacey
Case revision date: 
6 pages (Case Study)

City of Ottawa is home to 883, 391 people and is the fourth largest city in Canada. Their Infrastructure Services Department is responsible for the management and maintenance of Ottawa’s roads, bridges, water supply, sewers, electrical grids and other essential infrastructure. The department regularly performs infrastructure inspections to ensure public safety and confirm that the structures are in sufficient condition to perform their intended purpose. The inspections rank various structural elements on a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor using criteria provided in the Ontario Structural Inspection Manual (OSIM). These rankings are based on material defects that include deterioration, corrosion, cracking, rusting, scaling, etc. On July 15, 2008, the March Road culvert was ranked Poor, which indicated that it should be replaced or renewed, Figure 1. During the inspection, it was observed that there was insufficient water flow through the culvert and it had severe rust above the waterline. Existing perforations could cause a loss of backfill soil, potentially creating sinkholes. The Infrastructure Department required solutions for the culvert and a respective analysis in order to determine the best renewal decision.  

Dylan Dowling, a third year Civil Engineering student from the University of Waterloo, was asked by the City of Ottawa to examine different renewal options for the March Road culvert and to estimate the cost while adhering to Ontario Provincial Standards.  

March road culvert

Figure 1 - March Road Culvert

Learning objectives: 

The main teaching objective of this case study is to provide students the opportunity to do a full analysis on a specific infrastructure application and illustrate the application of Ontario Structural Inspection standards.

Key words: 
Culvert renewal; Ontario Provincial Standard Drawings (OPSDs)
CEAB attributes: 
Problem Analysis; A knowledge base for engineering; Economics and Project Management
Module 01 – Case Study
Module 02 – Culvert Renewal Cost Prediction
Module TN – Teaching Note

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