Broadway Railroad Culvert

updated 5/28/2021

The purpose of this project is to install an 84-inch drainage pipe under the railroad located near Red’s Shoe Barn to rectify long-standing flooding issues. The new drain pipe replaces an old undersized partially blocked granite box culvert installed in the 1800s when the railroad was built. As part of the project, new drain piping was also installed on Broadway along the frontage of Red’s Shoe Barn and connects to the new 84-inch drainage pipe. The new drainage lines are tied into an existing granite box culvert located in the ravine at the end of Forest Street. Future projects will include installing new drain pipes as part of road reconstruction projects to fix other nearby neighborhoods’ drainage issues. 

The Broadway culvert project is now substantially complete after the final area of the worksite was paved on May 24, 2021. 

The City of Dover undertook the project to improve long-standing drainage issues in the area prone to significant flooding during heavy rain events. Stormwater drains to the low point by Red’s Shoe Barn on Broadway from upstream neighborhoods that stretch up to Oak Street and Garrison Hill and traverses through a culvert underneath the railbed. The Broadway culvert project replaced a stone box culvert that was undersized, partially blocked and could not provide adequate drainage. The stone box culvert was installed when the rail line was built more than 120 years ago.

The contractor, George Cairns and Sons, Inc., completed the installation of the new culvert last fall, which is now operational. The new culvert is seven feet in diameter and 220 feet in length that had to be bored underneath the rail line 25 feet underground. Over the winter and into the spring, the contractor installed new drainage pipes along Broadway.

More drainage work is planned in future years to fix drainage issues in the upstream neighborhoods. These projects could not be addressed until the new culvert was installed. For this reason, only a structural binder pavement layer was installed on the work areas on Broadway, as parts will be dug up in future years to complete future drainage projects. Community Services Director John Storer explained the Broadway culvert project and why future phases are needed in an October 2020 video.

The construction cost is $7.4 million, which has increased from the original project cost of $4.7 million. There have been numerous challenges throughout the project. One significant challenge was finding ledge while boring underneath the rail line. Removing ledge increased the project cost significantly and also delayed it. There have also been challenges with underground utilities not being in their expected place, which slowed the work pace increased its cost.