Improved Design of Highway Culvert

by Jerome M Normann, (M.ASCE), Highway Engr.; U.S. Dept. of Transportation Fed. Highway Administration, Washington, D.C.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1975, Vol. 45, Issue 3, Pg. 70-73

Document Type: Feature article

Errata: (See full record)


New culvert design procedures, incorporating improved inlet concepts, make significant construction savings possible through hydrauically efficient use of the culvert barrel. Two representative examples of culverts with improved inlets are presented, with photographs and estimates of the savings achieved. Improved inlets should be used when the culvert entrance restricts the hydraulic capacity of the structure near the design discharge and include beveled edges, side-tapered, and slope-tapered inlets. These inlets improve hydraulic performance by (1) reduction of the inlet contraction, and (2) concentrating more head on the inlet control section for the same headwater pool elevation. A new culvert design procedure has been developed which incorporates the flexibility proved by improved inlets to approach the optimum design for a given site. The new design procedure is illustrated by the use of schematic culvert performances curves.

Subject Headings: Inlets (waterway) | Highway and road design | Culverts | Hydraulic design | Hydraulic contraction | Construction management | Photography | Structural design

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