Case Study: Accelerated Culverts, Town of Boxford

When the Town of Boxford needed a critical culvert replaced, Bayside Engineering was their first call. The troubled culvert was on the Town’s radar after the Mother’s Day Storm of 2012 accelerated signs of decline. Lining the aging culvert was Bree Sullivan, Bayside’s Senior Environmental Engineer’s, first proposal to the Town. But upon further inspection, she quickly realized this culvert needed to be replaced. Ms. Sullivan recognized that replacement would not only reduce downstream erosion issues but was also a good opportunity to accomplish better wildlife connectivity per the ACOE (Army Corps of Engineer) standards.

As the project progressed and design plans were created, Bree had an idea. With the MassDOT Accelerated Bridge Replacement Method fresh on everyone’s mind, she thought why not use this method in Boxford?

After calculating the amount of construction and man hours required with and without the accelerated plans, it became clear the accelerated method was more cost effective.

The Town of Boxford was hesitant but decided to keep an open mind as the project went out to bid. The winning proposal from Kodiak Corporation of Lawrence concurred with Bree’s methodology, that the accelerated method would be the most effective.

There were many keys to this project’s success. The first being a well-vetted detour plan.  There was early signage starting 30 days prior to construction and reverse 911 calls to make sure no one was caught unaware. The parties involved met numerous times with the police and fire departments and solicited input from residents to ensure emergency routes would be successful.

Construction was planned for August, a low flow stream time. In order for the job to work, all of the culvert sections had to be on-site to begin.

The clock started at 5am on Friday morning with construction hours between 7am and 7pm. First up was the removal of the original culvert on Friday. All day Saturday and the next morning were spent setting the culvert sections. By 6pm on Sunday, backfill and paving were complete and the guardrail set by 8:30pm.

The culvert was complete and traffic restored by the time the Town’s DPW Superintendent drove by on his way to work Monday morning.

Not only was the project completed in a weekend, but it also came in under budget.

“We were thrilled with the way the project came together”, said John Dold, the Town of Boxford’s DPW Superintendent. “Taking into account the location of the road and the size of the Town, it became evident the accelerated method was the best option. We were impressed with Bayside’s guidance throughout the process and the outcome of the project.”