Culverts and pipes must be inspected regularly to determine if they need to be repaired or replaced, but culvert accesses are often too small for inspectors to enter.
The HIVE has been used to inspect hundreds of pipes and is already saving money. One visual inspection of a culvert showed damage to the ends of a pipe that typically would result in a full replacement cost of about $45,000. However, HIVE video footage from within the pipe showed the damage was limited to just 12 feet near the end. Instead of replacing the entire pipe, MnDOT workers fixed the problem for $1,000, resulting in a $44,000 savings.
The HIVE received the 2016 Governor’s Better Government Award and was chosen as one of the nation’s top research projects in 2017 by the Research Advisory Committee of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
District 6 has shared build instructions with 27 states, counties, and cities. Instructions to build a HIVE, including a parts list and wiring schematic, are online.
The HIVE is just one of the advanced inspection technologies included in MnDOT’s new Enhanced Culvert Inspections Best Practices Guidebook (see related story).