Joint Sealing System Relieves 'Sinking Feeling' for La Crosse, WI

The streets of 11th and Johnson in the city of La Crosse, Wis., were scheduled for replacement of the sidewalk, curb, gutter, and pavement; however, a more serious problem needed to be addressed.

Sep 29th, 2014
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The streets of 11th and Johnson in the city of La Crosse, Wis., were scheduled for replacement of the sidewalk, curb, gutter, and pavement; however, a more serious problem needed to be addressed.

The HydraTite seal requires no excavation or water removal from the pipe and features limited surface preparation, quick installation and a 50-year design life.

"We had observed pavement and ground settlement in the street, curb, gutter, and adjacent grass terrace area," said Steve Asp, city assistant superintendent-sewer. "There is a lot of flow during rain events because several other large stormwater pipes tie into the manholes on either side of the 72-inch pipe. We suspected soil migration through the joints of this storm line and tried patching them with mortar several years ago, but the issues of settling continued."

The 72-inch pipe, dating back to 1950, was still in great condition with imperceptible deterioration. It was determined that the stress on the pipe joints was due to the pipe's 28-foot depth and the sheer volume of flow during rain events.

Asp researched his options: Lining the pipe was cost-prohibitive due to the pipe's depth and would require excavating pits on either side of the pipe section. Likewise, chemical grouting of the joints -- a short-term solution, at best -- was also rejected.

Finally, Asp discovered HydraTite Internal Pipe Joint Seal distributed by Cretex Specialty Products. The seal requires no excavation or water removal from the pipe and features limited surface preparation, quick installation and a 50-year design life. Infratech, based in Rogers, Minn., was the contractor chosen to perform the work and was trained and certified in the proper installation of the seal by a Cretex representative at the onset of the project.

Ultimately, seven HydraTite seals were installed in only seven hours by a two-man crew in the pipe and one top man. Access was through a 78-inch-diameter block storm manhole with a 24-inch frame and chimney opening. The seal repaired any malalignment of the joints and formed an impenetrable barrier against further infiltration.

It was a rainy year in 2013 in Western Wisconsin, but equipped with the HydraTite seal, the city of La Crosse no longer has that "sinking feeling."

Cretex Specialty Products is an exhibitor at WEFTEC.14 and can be found at Booth 2119. For more information, visit www.cretexseals.com.

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