The Fayette Springs Culvert Replacement project in Wharton Township, Fayette County utilized funding through the Low Volume Road Program and new technology of the Express Foundation system - the first of its kind to be installed in Pennsylvania.
The project spanned approximately 18 feet on Fayette Springs Road and crosses Big Sandy Creek, which is designated a high quality cold water fishery (HQ CWF).
The existing culvert was undersized and often flooded in heavy rain events, resulting in a public safety issue requiring the roadway to be closed to the public. Temporary measures were taken to open the roadway while a permanent solution was sought. The original culvert had a splash discharge, which was detrimental to the functioning of a High Quality Cold Water Fishery stream because it prohibited the migration of fish upstream, and therefore did not meet the current DEP standards.
McMillen Engineering, Inc. proposed the use of a Contech Aluminum Box Culvert with an open bottom utilizing an Express Foundation system. This solution saved money, but also minimized the time that the road was closed.
This once flood prone area has weathered recent storms without incident. Wharton Township now has a structure that has improved the health and safety of the residents while allowing native brook trout to migrate north towards the headwaters of Big Sandy Creek helping to preserve the native brook trout for generations to come.