barefoot box culvert

Structure 2027 Replacement, Barefoot Box CulvertTM

Barefoot Box Culver Logo

The Township of Melancthon is located in the headwaters of the Pine River, which flows into the Nottawasaga River to the east. These headwater areas provide habitat for a diversity of flora and fauna including sensitive cold water species, such as Brook Trout. A structure replacement was required on a headwater stream that supports all life stages of Brook Trout, with many areas of groundwater input (critical habitat).

Burnside was contracted to design a replacement for Structure 2027, located on Sideroad 15, approximately 0.2km west of CR124, north of Shelburne. The contract included demolition and removal of the existing 3.0 m span concrete open bottom structure, which and was determined to be in poor condition and recommended for replacement. The old structure was experiencing severe deterioration and had a 10 tonne load limit posting which prevented local agricultural equipment and machinery from travelling over the structure.

A budget estimate of $300,000 was allocated to complete the engineering and construction of the new structure. Burnside was required to identify a suitable design option that addressed the safety and environmental concerns at the site and fit within the Township’s budgetary constraints.

Based on the sensitivity of the site (headwater system that supports Brook Trout), it was important to replicate the form and function of the watercourse as well as existing conditions. Burnside proposed a precast concrete “Barefoot Box CulvertTM” to the client, DFO and NVCA for approval.

The “Barefoot Box CulvertTM” incorporated unique design characteristics such as preformed holes in the base slab for groundwater discharge and embedded to allow for a meandering low flow channel with natural substrates. Burnside’s “Barefoot Box CulvertTM” was the first approved for construction in Ontario.

The new structure brought the site to current standards in all respects, including safety, geometry, road grades and load capacity. Burnside successfully managed the bridge replacement and provided engineering services to deliver the client with a structure that addressed the environmental, safety and budgetary conditions associated with the project.

Services Included:

  • Bridge Structure Assessment
  • Design and Engineering
  • Barefoot Box CulvertTM Design
  • Aquatic Assessment and Permitting
  • Contract Administration
  • Groundwater Discharge Measurements
  • As Built Conditions


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