Keystone Cast

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Tioga County SR 6015 contract calling for the widening of a two-lane highway between Williamsport, Pa., and

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Tioga County SR 6015 contract Û calling for the widening of a two-lane highway between Williamsport, Pa., and Corning, N.Y. Û brought Cayuga Concrete Pipe the American Concrete Pipe Association 2006 Project Achievement Award. The $115 million U.S. Route 15 Improvement Project included grading and drainage for a new, 12-mile, four-lane highway through northern Tioga County, Pa., and southern Steuben County, N.Y.; movement of 3.8 million cubic yards of earth and rock; relocation of a township road; mitigation of two acres of wetland; and, diversion of two streams. Taking into consideration geological shifts that loosen shale and bedrock, 15,000 feet of reinforced concrete pipe was used by PennDOT to build a projecting embankment, cost-effectively placing small streams 60 feet under the finished roadway.

When completed in 2008, the highway will be known as I-99, the only major north-south transportation corridor through north central Pennsylvania and southern New York. Realignment of the highway was needed to reduce current congestion, ensure sufficient capacity for anticipated traffic growth in the corridor, improve safety by reducing conflict between through and local traffic, and provide system continuity with other U.S. Route 15 improvements.

The entire alignment project required coordinating communication among multiple parties to achieve engineering solutions and meet environmental challenges. Project participants included the Federal Highway Administration, New York State DOT, U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, Native American Tribes with ancestral ties to the environs, local residents and businesses, and PennDOT District 3 officials.

The project known as SR 6015, Section 22B extends approximately six miles, generally parallel to existing Route 15 on a western alignment from north of the Route 287 interchange to the state line. For the last section of the realignment through Pennsylvania before reaching the state line, concrete pipe is a major design element. Small streams and drainage courses in the area are susceptible to heavy rain throughout the summer as well as runoff from substantial snowfall. Securing hydraulic solutions with minimal environmental impact, two runs of 72-in.-diameter heavy wall reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) were installed: the first, 528-ft. run had a fill height of 60 feet; the second run was 320 feet with a fill height of 40 feet. The crossing of drainage courses at the highway was facilitated by a positive projecting embankment in one section of the roadway designed by engineers to accommodate a concrete pipe culvert, 60 feet under the finished surface. A cost-efficient solution meeting hydraulic requirements of storm water and snowmelt management, the concrete pipe culvert was identified as the single option equal to the site’s earth load-bearing demands. Further, geological reports indicating unstable ground conditions with shifting shale bedrock, bogs, and possible landslides dictated a decision to specify concrete pipe for numerous culverts throughout the highway alignment.

As conventional Class V pipe at 3000D strength would have been inadequate to withstand the loads, a special pipe was designed by engineers from Cayuga Concrete Pipe, using the guidelines of Publication 280 Manufacturing Specification for Reinforced Concrete Pipe, Pennsylvania Installation Direct Design (PAIDD). Accordingly, a 72-in.-diameter, heavy-wall RCP was engineered to withstand D-loads of 4,841 lbs. and 3,232 lbs. per linear ft./ft. for the 60-ft. and 40-ft. fill crossings, respectively. Also included were runs of 30-in. and 36-in.-diameter heavy wall pipe with 30 feet of fill in other culvert crossings of the new highway alignment.

Designs were submitted to the Penn DOT Materials and Testing Division. Moreover, all material suppliers involved in the pipe-making process had to be pre-approved in accordance with PennDOT Bulletin 15. After design review and final approval, the 72-in.-diameter heavy wall pipe sections were manufactured by Cayuga’s sister company, Kerr Concrete Pipe at its Farmingdale, N.J. plant.

The 72-in.-diameter concrete pipe under 60 feet of fill featured 14-in.-thick walls with one-inch cover over the reinforcement. Using special forms and equipment, including additional vibration, Kerr was able to produce four 8-ft. sections per day with a dry cast process. Each section weighed 17 tons. The steel area consisted of 0.616-sq.-in./ft. inner and 0.190-sq.-in./ft. outer mesh with a concrete strength of 6,000 psi.

For the 72-in.-diameter concrete pipe under 40 feet of fill, a steel area of 1.251-sq.-in./ft. inner and 0.444-sq.-in./ft. outer mesh was required with a concrete design of 6,000 psi. The 7.75-in.-thick walls provided 1.25 inches of cover over reinforcement. Necessary stirrups at the invert and crown were supplied by Engineered Wire Products. Four-in.-diameter lift holes were installed in both sets of 72-in.-diameter pipe to facilitate a teacup lifting mechanism. Site-Blauvelt Engineers acted as the on-site PennDOT representative.

Careful planning by the plant’s production and dispatching departments was needed to move 1,250 tons of concrete pipe, requiring nearly 200 truckloads. The 72-in.-diameter, 60-ft. fill pipe Û weighing 35,000 lbs. per section Û limited payload to one 8-ft. pipe per truck. The round trip from Farmingdale to Tioga County was 450 miles; and, the haul to the site from Cayuga’s Montrose, Pa., facility was 130 miles round trip.

Type A standard pipe installation followed the stringent guidelines of Publication 280 of PAIDD. PennDOT specification RC-30 detailing backfill and bedding was also closely observed.

Jurisdiction for SR 6015, Section 22B falls to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Engineering, District 3. Covering the nine counties of north central Pennsylvania including Tioga, District 3 encompasses 4,300 miles of highway and 2,900 state bridges, whose maintenance is the agency’s responsibility. The first construction contract on SR 6015, Section 22B was let in November of 2004.

Article adapted from a report by Dave Crockett, Kerr Concrete Pipe, in American Concrete Pipe Association’s Summer 2006 Concrete Pipe News.

Oldcastle Precast Northeast Pipe Group


The Northeast Pipe Group of Oldcastle Precast, Inc. consists of three plant locations in Pennsylvania (Cayuga Concrete Pipe) and two in New Jersey (Kerr Concrete Pipe). With locations in New Britain, Montrose and Croydon, Cayuga Concrete Pipe is the largest concrete pipe producer in Pennsylvania Û a player in the pipe industry through 48-plus years since its start-up in New Britain. The recently acquired Montrose plant, a producer of concrete pipe for over 50 years, has been supplying pipe to Route 15 since the beginning of the project. Kerr Concrete Pipe was founded in 1936.

The Northeast Pipe Group manufactures 12- through 120-in.-diameter rubber gasket and mortar joint pipe, 18- to 108-in. elliptical pipe, and 12- through 72-in. flared ends round and elliptical.

Known for their engineering innovations, Cayuga and Kerr staff have designed and manufactured pipe for many projects with special conditions. The U.S. Route 15 Improvement is their 10th PennDOT job involving custom-engineered, heavy-wall reinforced concrete pipe fabricated under department guidelines.

Nwe U.S. route 15

Drainage project scope, principals

Project I.D. Û SR 6015, Section
22B, Tioga County, Pa.
Deep Bury Heavy Wall
Reinforced Concrete Pipe

RCP Schedule Û Over 15,000 feet of reinforced concrete pipe, including 848 feet of 72-in.-diameter heavy wall pipe

Owner Û Penn DOT, District 3-0

Engineering Û Dewberry-Goodkind
Carlisle, Pa.

Contractor Û Trumbull Corp.
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Inspection Agencies

Trumbull Corp.

Mike Dwyer, Project Engineer
Paul Cameron, Project Engineer
Pete Kutcher, Project Supt.
Bill Bechtel, Pipe Foreman

PennDOT inspection

Tom Nagy, Project Supervisor
Lance Ridall, Project Engineer
Bob Horwhat, Chief Structural Materials Engineer
Serge Ter-Arakelov, P.E., Engineer Materials & Testing Div.

Site Blauvelt Engineers

Tim Becker – In-plant inspection

Pipe Material Suppliers


Engineered Wire Products, Sandusky, Ohio
Insteel Wire Products, Mt. Airy, N.C.


Buzzi Unicem, Stockertown, Pa.


Cayuga Concrete Pipe, Montrose & Croydon, Pa.
Kerr Concrete Pipe, Folsom and Farmingdale, N.J.