Measured Performance of Newtown Creek Culvert

by Ernest T. Selig, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.,
Richard W. Lautensleger, (M.ASCE), Sr. Research Engr.; Armco Inc., Middletown, Ohio,
Charles W. Lockhart, (A.M.ASCE), Geotechnical Engr.; Golder Assoc., Inc., Seattle, Wash.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 9, Pg. 1067-1087

Document Type: Journal Paper


Increasing use is being made of corrugated-metal buried structures for culverts and grade separations with spans exceeding 25 ft (7.63m). Recently developed analytical design procedures require validation from field performance measurements. To assist in evaluating the design concepts and the construction procedures, one such structure was instrumented as part of a highway project in Pennsylvania. The structure was a flexible, corrugated-steel arch with a 26-ft (7.93-m) span, 15-ft (4.57-m) rise and 23-ft (7-m) compacted soil cover. Soil extensometers, strain gages and stress gages were placed in the backfill at the side of and above the structure. Taping measurements using targets on the structure provided the deflection pattern. The measurements are presented in the paper in sufficient detail to be a useful case study for evaluation design procedures. The results are also briefly compared with predictions from the most commonly used, simplified design procedures.

Subject Headings: Quality control | Rivers and streams | Culverts | Highway and road design | Infrastructure construction | Compacted soils | Stress strain relations | Case studies | Pennsylvania | United States

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