Design and Construction of Long-Span Metal Culverts

by Ernest T. Selig, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Univ. of Mass., Amherst, Mass.,
William E. Falby, (M.ASCE), Physical Development Engr.; Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich.,
Fred H. Kulhawy, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y.,
John F. Abel, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 3, Pg. 68-72

Document Type: Feature article


Long-span metal culverts are built of corrugated-metal plates bolted together. They have spans exceeding 15 ft. Principal applications include use as drainage structures, grade separations, protective structures and bridge substitutes. Special design criteria and construction procedures are required to ensure satisfactory performance. One manufacturer uses a concrete thrust beam, another a metal beam, a third uses ribs. The key to successful construction is to maintain the structure's shape throughout backfilling. Failure to do so has caused problems, so manufacturers require that their inspector supervise all backfilling. He has the authority to halt construction when backfilling is unsatisfactory.

Subject Headings: Backfills | Construction management | Metals (chemical) | Culverts | Metals (material) | Protective structures | Concrete beams | Plates

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