Oakland University - Culvert Replacement

Rochester, MI

Oakland University experienced a failure of the existing 12 ft by 7.5 ft, elliptical steel plate box culvert, under Meadowbrook Road, the main east/west roadway along the north side of campus. The contract called for replacement with a 9 ft by 10 ft concrete box culvert.


As Meadowbrook Road is a main thoroughfare for the University, the job could not start until after the spring graduation in early May and had to be in service for the fall semester at the end of August. The summer semester traffic was detoured through the campus.



At an approximate depth of forty feet below the existing road, there were three stages of excavation along with a temporary earth retention system. Furthermore there was a need for caution to preserve a main sanitary sewer line for Oakland County at an additional 10 feet below the new culvert, running parallel to the east side. Existing electrical, fiber optic, water main and storm sewer had to be re-routed/reinstalled. A temporary by-pass system to keep the stream flowing was necessary.


Frequent heavy rains aside, the project was finished on time.

Fast Facts


Project Name:       Meadowbrook Road Culvert                                       Replacement

Location:               Rochester, MI

Owner/Client:        Oakland University

Engineer:               SME Inc.


  • Install 249 lft of concrete box culvert.

  • Upgrade storm drainage.

  • Remove and replace section of Meadowbrook Road.

  • Upgrade & relocate the streambed on each end of the culvert.