Comparison of culvert load ratings calculated by three methods

Timothy A. Wood, William D. Lawson, Charles D. Newhouse, Priyantha W. Jayawickrama

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This paper explores the influence of the choice of structural analysis method on inventory and operating rating factors calculated using American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials load rating equations for bridge class culverts. The authors used three increasingly sophisticated, production-oriented structural analysis methods to load rate 86 reinforced concrete box culverts selected to represent the full population of 1855 culvert designs maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). It is presumed that more complex soil structure interaction models will generate more accurate and less conservative load ratings than simpler models. Results indicate that increasing the model sophistication by using soil springs does not significantly change the inventory rating when compared to the first method. Increasing sophistication further by modeling soil using linear-elastic finite elements yields mixed results, showing an increase in the rating factor for sufficiently high soil moduli of elasticity but a slight decrease in the rating factor for lower soil moduli of elasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeo-Congress 2014 Technical Papers
Subtitle of host publicationGeo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2014 Congress
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages10
Edition234 GSP
ISBN (Print)9780784413272
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 Congress on Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, Geo-Congress 2014 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2014Feb 26 2014

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
Number234 GSP
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


Conference2014 Congress on Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, Geo-Congress 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA


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