Storm Drain Culvert Resiliency Program for Addressing Climate Change

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Montgomery County, Md., MD

Image of AchievementAwards_extension_bkg_0.jpg

About the Program

Category: Transportation (Best in Category)

Year: 2022

Decades of development and urban sprawl have led to the construction of thousands of storm drain culverts throughout Maryland to convey stormwater below roadways. Failure to properly maintain these culverts can lead to their collapse, sinkholes, and the emergency closure of roadways - all of which affect public safety. Due to climate change, these culverts are exposed to larger storm events each year that stress their ability to convey stormwater during flood events. This increase in storm severity coupled with aging storm drain infrastructure created an environment in Montgomery County, Maryland where culverts and their roadways passing over them were vulnerable to large storm events. Montgomery County successfully implemented a storm drain culvert resiliency program that created an innovative rating system. This rating system enabled the County to objectively categorize hundreds of storm drain culverts based on drainage area flood potential, culvert structural condition, average daily traffic count, and mobility impact to the community. The program provided a basis for the County to more efficiently allocate capital improvement project funding to increase the resiliency of the storm drain culvert system.