Benton Harbor’s Wightman Crafts Culvert to High Industry Praise

Benton Harbor’s Team Wightman resolved the critical failure of a road culvert north of Battle Creek recently and earned deep admiration from the Michigan Concrete Association in the process. That and a Michigan Award of Excellence in the Structural-Transportation category.

Wightman was recently honored by Michigan Concrete Association for its work on the Halbert Road Culvert replacement project.

The Calhoun County Road Department discovered that five Halbert Road culverts over Waubascon Creek, north of the City of Battle Creek, had reached the point of critical failure and required replacement. Resolution of the problem in a timely, cost-effective manner was imperative, as Halbert Road is a vital connector between the city and surrounding Bedford Charter Township in Calhoun County. Project partnerships included Balkema Excavating as the general contractor, Northern Concrete Pipe as the concrete pipe supplier, and Wightman as the engineering firm.

Wightman was tasked with designing and facilitating permitting for a new structure that would replace the five failing culverts, not adversely impact the hydraulics of the creek, and minimize environmental impacts on the surrounding wetland area. Wightman worked collaboratively with the road department and Northern Concrete Pipe to design a curved precast concrete box culvert that provided a solution to the complex requirements of the project and site. Despite additional challenges, which included work limitations within the creek during the period between May 1st and June 30th to allow for critical spawning and migration periods, the project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

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Additional project work included new hot mix asphalt pavement, guardrail improvements, slope protection, and site restoration.

All of the partners including the Calhoun County Road Department, Balkema Excavating, Northern Concrete Pipe, and Wightman were honored for their work during the MCA awards luncheon during the 2020 Winter Conference and Workshop held in mid-February at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Michigan State University.

Wightman’s Project Engineer, Samuel Leatch, says, “My favorite aspect is the uniqueness of the project. It is one of the first of its kind, of its size, in the state of Michigan. I’m proud that the project partners were honored with this award.”

The photo accompanying this story on Moody on the Market shows the construction process, while the photo below shows the finished product.

Michigan Concrete Association (MCA) exists to increase the use of concrete in Michigan, through customer promotion and support, and to further the interests of Michigan’s ready-mix and concrete paving industries.

Wightman is a Benton Harbor-based, full-service consulting firm with a team of over 130 professionals that work to analyze, advise, design, and deliver successful projects in partnership with governments, business, and institutions in the region. Services offered include Architecture, Civil Engineering, Environmental, and Surveying. Additional specialty services offered include Planning, GIS, Landscape Architecture and Interior Design. The firm is headquartered in Benton Harbor with additional teams operating in offices in Allegan and Kalamazoo.