Segmental Precast Culverts for the Coquihalla Freeway


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Title: Segmental Precast Culverts for the Coquihalla Freeway

Author(s): R. H. Hebden

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 93


Appears on pages(s): 769-796

Keywords: arches; concrete construction; culverts; highways; precast concrete; segmental construction; structural design; subsurface structures

Date: 9/1/1986

Three segmental precast concrete arch culverts have been constructed for the recently opened Coquihalla Freeway in British Columbia. Buried structures were desired because of climatic conditions and topographic constraints on road align-The arch culverts are 20 m (65.6 ft.) in span, with a rise of 6 m (19.7 ft.) and length of approximately 65 m (213 ft.). The long span was chosen for debris passage and to erect the culvert over the creek without relocation. The span is 2 m (6.56 ft.) greater than the largest known metal arch culvert. Footings were built by the grading contractor while the arch design was underway. Half-arch slab segments of approxi-mately 250 mm thick were cast near Vancouver and shipped to the site. Erection employed a travelling temporary support truss but no staging was required for completion of backfill. The structures were completed in the summer of 1985. Segmental precast arch culverts offered the advantages of low cost for high-fill crossings, avoidance of bridge main-tenance compared to bridges, tolerance of backfill quality and compaction, and long life compared to very long-span plate arches. Longer spans and deeper fill-covers are foreseen as possible in the future.