Damaged culvert forces U.S. 30 to close

NOW: Damaged culvert forces U.S. 30 to close

BOURBON, Ind --  The eastbound lanes of US 30 are shut down due to a culvert failure. The roadway is now undergoing repairs.

This specific culvert impacted west bound traffic, with lanes closed off as crews worked on the highway.

As of today, repairs going westbound are complete, meaning crews are switching over to eastbound, causing the detour for vehicles.

INDOT estimates that the work occupying the eastbound lanes will take about two weeks to complete the job. 

"It’s a lot different than we’re used to. There’s just semi after semi, traffic going down 331 constantly. In a small town like Bourbon, there’s just traffic here and there but it’s definitely made an impact on the traffic coming through." Bourbon Subway Manager Kathy Koontz

In addition to that, INDOT says the contributing factors could be a private pipe that sits under the culvert, along with the possibility of a lack of maintenance.

The culvert pipes are designed for a certain flow rate of "a 100 year storm or a storm with a 1% probability of occurring for the allowable backwater and roadway serviceability (does the water overtop the roadway) and a 50 year storm or a storm with a 2% probability of occurring for the allowable velocity in the structure." according to the Indiana Department of Transportation northwest public relations director Cassandra Bajek.

According to ABC57 Chief Meteorologist, that means the 4" rainfall in one day, and 6" rainfall over two days near Bourbon was close to the maximum threshold of drainage the culvert was designed to handle and likely lead to its failure.

"A large part of the reason of why it failed is due to the extreme amount of rain that we had in a very tight time period, which we’re seeing a lot of area, all over northwest Indiana issues related to that rain." says Bajek.

Bajek also mentions that is not normal for culverts to fail this often.

"It is very rare to have pipes that fail. We have inspectors that visit the pipes on a regular basis depending on the condition of the pipe itself. Having a pipe issue to the point of needing to shut a road down maybe occurs once every 3-4 years." said Bajek.

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