|Scour Technology | Bridge Hydraulics | Culvert Hydraulics | Highway Drainage | Hydrology | Environmental Hydraulics|
|FHWA > Engineering > Hydraulics > Policy & Memos > Guidance on Pipe Selection|
We have recently been asked to clarify the interpretation of our material or product selection policy regarding culvert pipes.
Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations Section 635.411(d) includes a reference to Appendix A, Subpart D. The intent of this appendix is to require competition in the specification of alternative types of culvert pipes. It was not intended to limit or restrict the use of certain pipe materials in specific drainage installations, nor was it intended to prohibit the specifying of alternative materials when the appendix did not require it.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) encourages competition in all phases of the project delivery process. The FHWA's policy on material selection requires the State DOTs to perform an engineering and economic analysis when it is determined that more than one product is available to meet specific engineering requirements. A contracting agency has the responsibility to select the appropriate product based on this analysis. Appendix A should not be interpreted as favoring one product over another, but rather specifying the minimum number of alternatives that should be included in the specifications for a project's drainage installations.
The FHWA will consider changes to 23 CFR 635 to clarify this issue following enactment of reauthorization legislation. In the mean time, please refer to this guidance when interpreting Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations Section 635.411(d), Appendix A, Subpart D.