Design – Build

“PW’s Culvert Way”

Fact Statement

PW Trenchless came to a realization a number of years ago, that the culverts under the roads and highways of the Province were not in good shape. For the last 12 years, we have been receiving and dealing with emergency requests to assist in saving road structures and in preventing road closures. In trying to understand this problem, we feel that the multiple failures are because of the location and age of these culverts. Many were installed in the highway building boom of the 50/60’s and are now reaching the end of their useful life. The Railway culverts of the Province are of a similar age and in a similar deteriorated state.

For example projects – See Projects

While we can appreciate that those who are in charge of maintaining our highways have their hands full dealing with the problems of pavements, etc, we are here to offer a solution.


Rather than inventing a new design and construction process each and every time to handle these emergencies, and redesigning a solution to fit each individual failure, we have implemented a standard system to totally rehabilitate culverts.

To do this, we assembled a team of engineering, environmental, and construction specialists, who all work together as a team, and value each other’s opinions and abilities.

From the time of notification by the owner (or the maintenance contractor) of an emergency, we have developed a system of emergency stabilization, and if required, engineering, environmental approvals, construction and wrap up. This group of 3 different disciplines, work together as a very efficient and effective team.

Team approach versus the conventional construction approach.

In a conventional approach, the owner approaches a consulting engineer to develop a design. This design has to be able to be constructed by all contractors, thus is designed in a more conservative manner. The tendering and contract management process, being a potentially legal process, is confrontational and thus results in the various teams “pulling in opposite directions”. Our solution, to the procurement of the culvert rehabilitation process, is an overall team approach with all the players “pulling the same way”. This makes for a much cheaper, more efficient, faster, and clearer project.

Should these culverts be rehabilitated as part of a capital program, then the work has to be completed in the “Fish Window” period of Aug 1 to Sept 15. This is a very short construction window. As we are rehabilitating existing structures, there exists a large risk of changes to the original design. A design bid system allows a lot more flexibility to encompass these changes quickly and remove the risk of the work be deferred until next year.

Our Mantra

All rehabilitation systems and procedures are designed to respond to the owner’s priorities, providing clear and concise information to the owner and their needs. This keeps the owner fully informed and in overall control of the project.

Even if your Culvert project is very complex, our process of turning a potential failure into a total rehabilitation isn’t. At PW Trenchless, we’ve developed this process that keeps every project on purpose – from start to finish.

Where there is the potential to be overwhelmed, you’ll discover that this process delivers…


  • Accurate costings
  • Believable scheduling
  • Clear reporting
  • Direct lines of communication to the people with the answers
  • Efficiency to incorporate design/construction changes very quickly

In fact, our processes are so efficient and streamlined that you will find your own project management workload very much lighter.

We assemble all the sections and produce a finished culvert totally rehabilitated.

We work closely with the owners to explain how each component of the construction process works and produce a turnkey result, which includes:

  • Assessment of the culvert
  • Defining the type of culvert (inlet or outlet controlled)
  • Costing a rehabilitation solution
  • Planning
  • Environmental permitting
  • Engineering design
  • Construction
  • Environmental enhancement of pipe invert
  • Commissioning – Warrantee

Each project process is customized to ensure the owner is getting good value for money; a rehabilitated culvert, delivered on time, with a minimum of disruption to the public, and utilizing methods and procedures learned and honed on previous rehabilitation projects.

Expansion of Definition of Clients

It has come to our attention that the definition of clients has normally been the city/MOTH body that requests the work to be completed. However, we have learned by experience that our clients also include the volunteers that maintain these water bodies and that they need to be included in all levels of the consultation process of the reconstruction of these culverts.

Time is Money, and Clarity Saves Time

PW Trenchless does meet very tight schedules on complex projects. We do this by having a clear definition of contract scope, employing excellent record keeping and taking a pro-active approach to safety, risk management and dispute resolution. This philosophy results in smooth construction projects. What’s more, we bring smart solutions to each and every construction project we undertake. We actively encourage “out of the Box” thinking from all our staff (an active monthly reward system) and are very proactive in the implementing of sustainable construction initiatives for greater cost efficiencies.

Our partners always come through for us

As the leader of this rehabilitation team, we have cultivated a very innovative and responsive team. Over the years, our management team has cultivated solid working relationships with Structural and Civil Engineers, Environmental Consultants, Concrete/Grout and Pumping Suppliers and Pipe/ Steel Suppliers. When all team members are rowing in the same direction we move fast and efficiently. With our trusted partners, we have successfully rehabilitated numerous culverts in very cost-effective ways.

We do all the work – you can relax

You will come to rely on our team’s expertise and transparent project management systems. We’ll always keep you informed, and encourage you to interject at any time. Your project will be completed on time, on budget and with minimum impact to the public. That is how we do work, in an uncomplicated manner.

Projects with Design – Build

Eagle Creek Culvert Rehabilitation – Design Build Project

Eagle Creek Culvert in West Vancouver was experiencing severe failure along culvert invert which could potentially cause above ground failure. The project was determined to be high priority due to close proximity residential properties that had been constructed on the …

See Project

HWY 1 Culvert Invert Rehabilitation at Chilliwack Airport

The Highways Department had two culverts in need of rehabilitation near the Chilliwack Airport. Both cross under the Highway One Freeway and replacing via Open Cut techniques was not a practical solution. The first culvert to be repaired was located at …

See Project

HWY 1 Culvert Slipline at Chilliwack Airport

While rehabilitating the Trans Canada Airport Culvert, it was decided to employ a full Sliplining method in order to repair the second culvert. New culvert pipes that are slightly smaller than the existing culvert were delivered to the south end …

See Project

Design - Build

An alternate tendering process where the contract is awarded to one entity which comprises both engineering and contracting.

Because PW Trenchless Construction offers such innovative solutions for underground utilities, it is often beneficial for the owner to request solutions based on a performance specification. This allows PW Trenchess to offer unique solutions while working with equally innovative engineering companies. Learn more about design - build here!

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New Installation

New installation methodologies include HDD & traditional open cut Learn more about new installation here!

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Pipe Replacement & Rehabilitation

In this day & age of pipe systems reaching the end of their projected lifespan, pipe replacement and pipe rehabilitation have become major fields of engineering.

PW Trenchless Construction provides viable options such as pipe bursting, loose fit lining and internal pipe re-construction whether partial & fully circumferential. Learn more about pipe replacement & rehabilitation here!

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Culvert Rehabilitation

The aging culverts under roads and highways in many case have reached the end of their engineered life-span. We consider the rehabilitation or replacement of these culverts to be vital to our built environment.

PW Trenchless has been a pioneer in working with MOTH, railway companies and municipalities in developing rehabilitation methodologies for the hundreds of thousands of culverts that currently exist in BC. We have offered solutions in both procurement and construction from design-build to sliplining, invert rehabilitation and full circumferential relining. Learn more about culvert rehabilitation here!

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Point Repairs

Often pipe failure can be concentrated to one section, for various reason, leaving the rest of the pipe in good condition. The repair of these localized failures are know as external point repairs (EPR's).

EPR's demonstrate PW's ability to work as both a trenchless and civil contractor, completing EPR contracts using our civil contracting skills and assisting other pure trenchless contractors who only have the capacity to work in an existing pipe. Learn more about point repairs here!

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Pipe Upsizing

Pipe upsizing is the fundamental concept of pipe bursting.

The vast majority of pipes are less than or equal to 200mm in diameter, but with today's densification practices of urban design, there is a major demand to increase current capacity to handle extra flow. Pipe bursting provides the ideal solution to this issue, particularly in an urban setting. Learn more about pipe upsizing here!

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Horizontal Directional Drilling

Horizontal Directional Drilling is a low impact Trenchless construction service where pipe is installed in a shallow arc along a bore path which has been created by a drilling rig. Often the terms Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) and Directional Boring are used interchangeably, but in our industry we use the word “boring” when we utilize smaller sized drilling rigs with small diameters for short crossings in the hundreds of feet, and we use the word “drilling” when we utilize larger rigs with large diameters for long crossings in the thousands of feet. Learn more about horizontal directional drilling here!

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Primus Lining

Primus Line® is a flexible sliplining solution for the trenchless rehabilitation of pressure pipes. The system consists of a flexible Kevlar® reinforced liner and specially developed end fittings. Primus Line® is not bonded to the host pipe and is self-supporting. An annulus remains between Primus Line® and the host pipe.

Developed by experienced engineers, the system is suitable for different media as well as various application needs and has already proven itself in numerous projects.Learn more about primus lining here!

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Join Our Team

When you join PWT, you become part of a community of people who are engaged in the most innovative practices in the Trenchless Industry. We have been instrumental in setting up a scientific method for cities to gain carbon offsets/credits from their use of trenchless construction. This system has been reviewed by the BC Government and has been approved as of December 2018. We expect to see it in common use shortly.

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