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Why are Culverts Important?


Like a bridge, a highway culvert is a structure that moves surface water through a roadway embankment and/or away from the highway. Unlike a bridge, a culvert is typically covered with soil. In addition to moving water, the culvert must also support highway traffic above. Culverts are critical to ensuring that roadways properly drain to prevent flooding.

Repairs are cheaper if culverts are fixed before road voids develop. MnDOT district maintenance staff use the Transportation Asset Management System (TAMS)-HydInfra inspections to identify and repair culverts that are a clear threat to road safety. Hydraulics and water resources engineers use TAMS-HydInfra to identify culverts to be repaired or replaced in planned construction projects. TAMS-HydInfra includes an automated sorting process of culvert inspection data to assign a suggested repair method to each bad culvert that can be used for statewide estimates of culvert repair needs.