Proper drainage is essential for pavement to maximize life expectancy and minimize maintenance. Culverts are a critical asset to facilitate drainage. As with many assets, culverts deteriorate with age and require regular inspection. It is important to have a formalized process of inventory and inspection that is efficient and can effectively support culvert asset management. The current culvert inspection and asset management processes for the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) have been modeled over the years on the bridge inspection process and were recently evaluated. A study was undertaken to further evaluate the current culvert asset management practices. Approximately 700 small culverts and catch basins were visited and evaluated using both the traditional culvert inspection practices and a revised asset management evaluation scale. The paper summarizes the findings of this evaluation and concludes by making recommendations for process improvements. These recommendations include the addition of photos to the culvert database, a revised rating scale, advanced planning of inspection schedules, a formalized process for culvert reassessments, the creation of a separate catch basin inlet inventory, various improvements to the inventory process, and a dedicated staff to complete inspections efficiently. It is also noted that building a reliable database will show historical trends and can eventually lead to a study of small culvert inspections and culvert longevity, which will lead to improved asset management.

Report Number



Supplementary video for SPR-3859:

Bullock, D., Pyrz, J., Bowers, J., Magers, S., Morris, T. (2015). Culvert Inspection Video Abstract. Purdue University Research Repository. doi:10.4231/R7K935F2


culvert, inspect, asset management, highway maintenance

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version