Philosophy Of Service Life In Culvert Design

by Lester A. Herr,

Serial Information: Journal of the Highway Division, 1966, Vol. 92, Issue 1, Pg. 1-10

Document Type: Journal Paper


The philosophy of service life in the design of culverts has changed over the years. With the improvement and enlargement of our highway system, culvert costs are significant and the service life of these structures deserve the attention of designers. Many engineers use durability of culvert materials as the only measure of service life, but other factors such as flood damage and construction methods affect the life of a culvert. Evaluation of service life in the design of culverts is a complex subject involving life of the highway, hazards and delays to traffic, and costs of construction, replacement, and maintenance. Cost analyses and use of comparable alternates on bid schedules are two methods proposed to obtain an economical culvert with a service life consistent with the highway being constructed. Field observations of the performance of culvert materials and methods of culvert selection as used by some designers are examined.

Subject Headings: Highway and road design | Service life | Culverts | Material durability | Construction materials | Construction methods | Lifeline systems | Infrastructure construction

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