Transportation Council, FHWA online course offers pipe installation basics

A new course is available for field personnel involved in highway construction projects, from engineers to technicians, to improve their understanding of the factors that contribute to high-quality pipe installations. Developed by the Transportation Curriculum Coordination Council (TCCC) in partnership with state Department of Transportation personnel, “TCCC Pipe Installation, Inspection, and Quality” is a free, self-paced, seven-hour course available through the Federal Highway Administration’s National Highway Institute (NHI).

The course is focused on the three basic pipe materials: concrete, metal and plastic. It includes information on foundation work, bedding selection, placement, joint sealants, backfilling and documentation for the three pipe types. To maintain uniformity among pipe inspectors, important instructional material, procedures and guidance were developed for the course.

Training is directed toward intermediate level technicians, to give them an in-depth view of the basic materials used in pipe construction. Although prepared by and for state DOT personnel, the course reflects best practices from various agencies. Moreover, each state agency/company has their own specifications, which course participants will need to review and follow for the specified pipe.

Upon completion of the course, developers note, participants will be able to identify basic types of pipe; understand proper foundation and bedding requirements for pipes; link different types of pipe with required specifications for installation; spot common errors to avoid when dealing with pipe placement, joints and backfilling; and, understand the importance of accurate records and reporting.

“This course will help transportation professionals improve their understanding of the factors that contribute to high-quality pipe installations. The instructional materials and guidance highlight best practices from various agencies,” said Christopher Newman of FHWA.

Launched in 2000, the TCCC is a partnership that includes representatives from FHWA, NHI, regional state training and certification groups, several American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials subcommittees, and industry associations. More than 100 Web training courses developed by the TCCC are available from NHI. Registration information for “TCCC Pipe Installation, Inspection, and Quality” (Course No. FHWA-NHI-134105) can be found at