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Aging Storm Drains Ready for Rainy Season

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Storm drain

November 6, 2009

Twelve large storm drains throughout the county are ready for whatever the rainy season has in store, now that the County Department of Public Works has repaired decades of erosion damage.

“These drains were in pretty bad shape and nearing the end of their life, which is typically about 50 years. We extended their use by lining the bottom of them with concrete, which is less expensive than replacing them, and also less disruptive to traffic in the area,” said Ed Deane, Senior Civil Engineer of the County Department of Public Works.

The storm drains, also called culverts, are used to direct storm water under roads to prevent water damage on the surface of the roads. Stones and sand passing through the pipes can erode the bottom over the years, making them ineffective.

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The project was awarded to a local company, Rutledge, Incorporated, in Spring Valley.  Crews repaired the culverts by placing reinforced concrete on the bottom of the structures.

The process is more environmentally-friendly than replacement because the majority of the work can be done in the culvert and does not disturb the roadway or surrounding area, which is often a stream bed.

The twelve repaired culverts were located at ten different sites: five in Ramona, three in Fallbrook, and two in Alpine.

The culvert rehabilitation is among several County of San Diego infrastructure projects funded by $9.6 million in TransNet funds as a result of stimulus dollars awarded to SANDAG.

For more information about stimulus-related projects, visit the County’s economic recovery site at

A storm drain on the left shows the condition before repairs.  The one on the right shows the new concrete lining.  

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