Evaluation of Trench Drain and Slotted Drain Maintenance and Cleaning - Phase 2

Several problems exist when performing maintenance on trench or slotted drains used on highways. Trench and slotted drains are commonly installed in roadway depressions along the shoulder or in gore areas. They are typically installed in these locations as a result of shallow pavement cross slopes that cannot be drained into a ditch or catch basin. The installation locations are a great collection point for storm water but they are also areas where road grit and trash collect. Trench/Slotted drains are effective at removing storm water from the roadway and preventing vehicles from hydroplaning. They are also effective at collecting road grit and trash and supporting vegetation growth. With the increased use of trench/slotted drains on highway reconstruction projects and the reduction of available man hours necessary for maintenance the drains are not being maintained. Without routine maintenance the road grit accumulates in the bottom of the drain and quickly gets root bound by noxious weeds and other vegetation. Once this happens it becomes very labor intensive to clean and reestablish flow. Even when annual maintenance is performed on these drains it is labor intensive and inefficient due to the accessibility of the drain and cleanout locations. The recommended cleaning procedure is to flush with water. This method is effective on drains that do not accumulate an abundance of road grit. However those locations that do accumulate road grit this method is ineffective and slow. In Phase 1, the research team evaluated current Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) processes for cleaning trench/slotted drains, developed a matrix of alternatives for cleaning trench/slotted drains that compares and contrast solutions that are available today and provided recommendations. Phase 2 of the research aims to develop an effective standard of operating procedures (SOP) for cleaning trench/slotted drains in Ohio that are safe, cost effective, and don't utilize significant amount of water needlessly and to determine the production rate of the various cleaning methods that we recommend testing under different project conditions in order to identify the impact of the drain's style, drain's dimensions, degree of blockage, weather conditions and terrain on the production rate and to calculate true return on investment (ROI) of the equipment used in the various cleaning methods.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $299175
  • Contract Numbers:




  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Ohio Department of Transportation

    Research Program
    1980 West Broad Street
    Columbus, OH  United States  43223
  • Project Managers:

    Martindale, Jill

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Cincinnati

    Civil Engineering Department, P.O. Box 210071, 741 Baldwin Hall
    Cincinnati, OH  United States  45221-0071
  • Principal Investigators:

    Elzarka, Hazem

  • Start Date: 20170417
  • Expected Completion Date: 20181117
  • Actual Completion Date: 20181117

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01631588
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 30347, 135521, 105177
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 31 2017 9:54AM