Forensic Investigation of a Wide Culvert Reconstruction Failure

D. Negussey, L. Andrews, S. Singh, C. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A growing number of large culverts in the national transportation network are in poor condition. Often, aging infrastructures carry heavy traffic through urban corridors. Either after failure or for replacement, reconstruction must occur rapidly to minimize service disruption. In some cases, new materials are used and uncommon construction practice is followed. The I-88 culvert crossing of Carrs Creek in Sidney, New York completely collapsed during record flooding. Rapid construction using expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam blocks as lightweight fill enabled partial reopening of I-88 in less than 3 months of closure. Shortly after reopening of the roadway, rapid and continuing settlements became evident. The roadway was again rebuilt using lightweight aggregates as structural fill above the culvert following complete removal of the geofoam blocks. This investigation of the rapid construction failure reexamines the findings and recommendations of a prior study of the failure. Alternative conclusions and suggestions for improving rapid construction practice with geofoam are presented utilizing the I-88 failure as an example in retrospect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number05019001
JournalJournal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Construction
  • Culvert
  • Failure
  • Flood
  • Geofoam
  • Rapid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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