Transportation agencies often allow metal pipes as an option for cross drains under/along roads and highways. Metal culverts can corrode over time at various rates based on their environmental conditions (e.g., corrosive nature of coastal soils, high water table, and saltwater intrusion).

This project was focused on applying available soil data, such as spatial distribution of soil types and soil characteristics (e.g., pH and conductivity), towards creating a Geographic Information System (GIS) based map to identify corrosion zones in coastal Louisiana. The effect of the soil characteristics (pH and conductivity) was incorporated in to the published corrosion models for calculating corrosion potential to metal pipes.

A combination of data, obtained from field surveys provided by the Louisiana Transportation Research Center and Web Soil Survey Data provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, were used to create an interpolated surface representing zones corrosive to metal culverts. The soil properties based corrosion potential was calculated for coastal Louisiana. Areas of similar corrosion behavior were grouped together based on expected life span of metal pipes and were classified accordingly.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


LTRC Project No. 16-5GT, SIO No. DOTLT1000094
Conducted in Cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

Keywords and Phrases

Metal culvert; corrosion; GIS; soil data; life span

Report Number

Final Report 585

Document Type

Technical Report

Document Version

Final Version

File Type




Publication Date

01 Jun 2017