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Culvert Installation

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
We have been fording a creek to get to one of our clear cuts. This spring when we were doing fire break prep, I could not get the tractor across it with the disc. The disc hangs enough that the tires just spin going up the steep embankment on the other side. ATVs were able to make it across. So, we decided to put in a culvert. We bought a 20' x 2' HDPE pipe. I've watched a few videos and done some reading on installation. It is at a fairly remote location on the farm. It is probably not worth trying to cart enough 57s to the area to set it properly. So, I'm planning on just doing it with native clay soil.

The spot we are putting it is calm and has several feet of drop from side to side. The creek slope is probably a couple degrees. My plan is to try to dig about 6" of creek bed out to place it. I plan to leave about 1' of the 20' pipe exposed on each end. I hope to put a 3 degree crown on it. Finding sufficient clay close by for fill will be the challenge. I'll probably widen the firebreaks it is connecting for fill. I plan to cover it in layers compacting them as I go. We have the JD 35G mini excavator to do the digging and a tractor with a FEL to transport fill if needed.

Anything I'm missing or not considering that I should. Any words of wisdom or things to look out for would be appreciated. This will be a very low use crossing. We will need to get the tractor and disc back there for prep and then again for the actual burn. We'll probably burn this every 3 or 4 years. Other than that, we may have an occasional ATV cross it for deer retrieval but hat is about it. Work crew is coming out on Sat.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Bill

Administrator
Wish I could help. I’ve had them installed but not done it myself. If memory serves me the last guy I had put one in made a hump over the pipe. Drive up to the pipe then down the other side. Think that is in case the water flows over the top. The dirt won’t erode at the pipe and wash it out.

I’m guessing here though. Just a thought.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Wish I could help. I’ve had them installed but not done it myself. If memory serves me the last guy I had put one in made a hump over the pipe. Drive up to the pipe then down the other side. Think that is in case the water flows over the top. The dirt won’t erode at the pipe and wash it out.

I’m guessing here though. Just a thought.

Good point!
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I got started with prep work today. My partner and I assess the situation. It looked like I would need to straighten the section of stream to get the 20' pipe in. As I began to try to dig a 6" bed to bury the pipe, I got my first surprise. The loggers had buried woody debris when they were fording the creek. So, I had to clear that out to get a smooth bottom. When I was done with that, I widened a nearby section of firebreak to make some dirt piles to start with tomorrow when the crew comes.
 

Auger

A good 3 year old buck
Make sure the fill over the pipe is higher in elevation compared to one or both approaches so when flood waters rise it washes out around the culvert and doesn’t take the culvert
 

b116757

5 year old buck +
Put in twice as big a pipe as you think you need or two pipes those little old creeks carry a lot more water than a guy thinks in rainy wet conditions. Can maybe get away with one if you dress around it with bigger rock like 3”-6” to keep the road from washing out at high water when the water starts running over the road.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Put in twice as big a pipe as you think you need or two pipes those little old creeks carry a lot more water than a guy thinks in rainy wet conditions. Can maybe get away with one if you dress around it with bigger rock like 3”-6” to keep the road from washing out at high water when the water starts running over the road.

I think an 18" pipe would handle the flow in the 95% case. We went with a 24" pipe.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Make sure the fill over the pipe is higher in elevation compared to one or both approaches so when flood waters rise it washes out around the culvert and doesn’t take the culvert

Thanks, I'm trying to do just that.

We installed the pipe on Saturday morning. Because of what the loggers did, I had to dig out more of the creek bed than I wanted to to remove the woody debris they buried. That meant a lot of wet soil was stacked up. It was mostly clay but it was drenched. Letting it dry out over night was not nearly enough. My wife, and two of my partners positioned the pipe. They had to keep moving it up and down the creek so I could remove more creek bed in high spots and fill in low spots until we could get the right slope on the pipe. Once in place I had to use the wet creek bed soil to fill first. There was no way to get the excavator close enough to fill with dry soil until I got the wet stuff out of the way. Things were pretty muddy and the hill side was steep, so I had to be careful not to get stuck. Once I had finished with the wet creek soil, I started using good dry clay. By lunch time we had the pipe in place, but just covered with a couple inches. I was having difficulty packing the soil because of the wet soil under neath. So, I stopped and moved on to my wife's project list for the rest of Saturday and this morning. About 2:00 I headed back to the farm to do more work on the culvert. I was able to add a few more layers of dry clay, but I was still having issue compacting it. I think I'll need to let it dry out for a week or so before continuing. Here are a couple pictures of the current status:

6d57504f-fff6-4fed-91a3-5b863dbff63e.jpg


b1eefad1-b934-416e-8065-e1519413cb35.jpg


You can see the hump I'm trying to leave over the pipe better in teh first pic. I need a lot more soil to get the foot they recommend on the top.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Atta boy Jack, looks great bud!
 

PatinPA

5 year old buck +
You could also dig out around the ends of the pipe and stream bank and put in a little rip rap to armor the banks. That would help keep everything in place if it floods.
 

Bassattackr

5 year old buck +
Looks great! You may want to consider planting something on either side of the road to keep future erosion to a minimum.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Looks great! You may want to consider planting something on either side of the road to keep future erosion to a minimum.

It still needs more work. After it dries out, I'll be adding quite a bit more dirt. Once I'm done with that, I plan to crown it at 3 degrees left/right and leave a hump front/back over the pipe. I plan to top dress the center with 57s (crushed stone) and seed the slopes. I rarely use perennial ryegrass in my food plot program, but this may be a place I use it as I'd like to avoid fescue and need a perennial.

Thanks to all for the suggestions and kind words.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Jack - if you want to come to my farm and get a few rocks, I'm sure you can shore that sucker up!

View attachment 34798

And I did not use 57s to create a base because I figured it was too hard to haul enough a half mile from camp to the crossing as we don't have a dump truck. :emoji_laughing:
 

DPx2

A good 3 year old buck
That looks great ! I had a culvert wash out this year on a new farm. My tenant had to rush to get it repaired so they could dry fertilize part of the field.
When I noticed it I talked to the neighbors and they said it washed out every other year or so. That means I'll need to do something to fix it long term as I'm not going to battle it every other year.
Didn't look like much when I first saw it from a distance, looked like someone spilled some dark soil on top of the ground...... I was very surprised when I saw what was going on.....
I think I need some wing walls or something so it doesn't keep washing ....
 

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TenPoint

5 year old buck +
Hopefully you compacted good enough. The strength of those pipes comes mostly from the fill around it. Maybe pour a concrete collar around the ends to keep it from washing or riprap. How big is the drainage area?
 

DPx2

A good 3 year old buck
Those minis seem like they are pretty versatile. Looks like a fun project!
 

breddick

5 year old buck +
I've installed a few culverts with my mini and its the perfect tool for the job.

That being said these infrequent use crossings where the only water is during rain / storms I find that a concrete low water crossing is a much better solution. Cost is often a wash (pun intended). No worries of pipe being undersized or becoming clogged with leaves / debris and it simply won't wash out. A little more labor intensive but it's a do it once and done kinda deal.
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
You have very dirty dirt so to speak lol I only saw a couple rocks in there and they were small which is the polar opposite of my land :emoji_sunglasses:
When I dig a hole for a tree I have so many large rocks I need to add dirt from elsewhere to actually fill the hole and use the rocks on top to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Just an observation from one area to the next.
Great job Jack, it looks great! I just had a pipe installed with crusher run over it to gain access in larger vehicles to the land next door where most of my plantings are.
 
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