Arch Culvert Research—Phase 3

by Raymond E. Davis, Sr. Bridge Engr.; California Dept. of Transportation, Sacramento, Calif.,
Alfred E. Bacher, Sr. Bridge Engr.; California Dept. of Transportation, Sacramento, Calif.,
Henry D. Nix, (A.M.ASCE), Research Specialist IV; Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, Sacramento, California,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 4, Pg. 739-749

Document Type: Journal Paper


A 22-ft (6.7m) arch culvert embedded in a highway embankment under 191 ft (58 m) of overfill was instrumented to evaluate the relative behavior of two structural sections subjected to two types of structure backfill: (1)Compacted structure backfill in contact with the extrados; and (2)backfill with a low modulus inclusion (baled straw) surrounding the arch barrel. Observations: (1)Soil stress-overfill functions were approximately linear; (2)soil stress profiles at the extrados differed from assumed design distributions; (3)soil stresses increased after attainment of maximum overfills over slideslope sections but not after embankment completion; (4)differential settlements of footings were small; (5)characteristic footing rotations significantly influenced structural behavior; and (6)neutral point analyses correctly assessed barrel moments, displacements and stresses, but axial thrusts appeared to be greatly influenced by thermal stresses

Subject Headings: Structural behavior | Stress analysis | Arches | Culverts | Thermal properties | Backfills | Linear analysis | Stress distribution

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