Part of the Geotechnical, Geological and Earthquake Engineering book series (GGEE, volume 49)


The chapter contains a general introduction to the soil-steel bridges and culverts (terminology, difference between the bridge and culvert, advantages and disadvantages, overall classification). Financial benefits resulting from the use of the soil-steel bridges versus typical steel and reinforced concrete bridges for transportation investments is also briefly presented on the basis of the literature review. A historical outline of development of such bridges is presented. Besides, the technological, design and scientific problems appearing in the soil-steel bridges are shortly described. The author defined eight different stages of structural analysis of soil-steel bridges taking into account primarily the various loads appearing during construction stage and normal operation (static, dynamic, service, seismic, anthropogenic). At the end of the chapter, the most commonly used terms related to the soil-steel bridges are also shown and defined.


Soil-steel bridge Corrugated steel plates Bridge standards Bridge analysis 


  1. AASHTO LRFD (2017) LRFD bridge design specifications. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. 8th edn, Washington, DC 1781 pGoogle Scholar
  2. Abdel-Sayed G, Bakht B, Jaeger LG (1994) Soil-steel bridges: design and construction. McGraw-Hill, Inc, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Abuhajar O, El Naggar H, Newson T (2016) Numerical modeling of soil and surface foundation pressure effects on buried box culvert behavior. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 142(12). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allgood JR, Takahashi SK (1972) Balanced design and finite element analyses of culverts. Highway Research Record, no. 413, Highway Research Board, Washington, DC, pp 45–56Google Scholar
  5. Antoniszyn G (2009) The strength of the steel shell situated in the ground as the main load-carrying element of the soil-shell bridge. PhD thesis, Wroclaw Univ Technol, WroclawGoogle Scholar
  6. AS/NZS 2041 (2010) Buried corrugated metal structures. Standards Australia. SydneyGoogle Scholar
  7. BD 12/01 (2001) Design manual for roads and bridges. Design of corrugated steel buried structures with spans greater than 0.9 metres and up to 8.0 metres. The Highways AgencyGoogle Scholar
  8. Beben D (2005) Soil-structure interaction in bridges made from steel corrugated plates. PhD thesis, Opole Univ Technol, Opole, PolandGoogle Scholar
  9. Beben D (2009) Numerical analysis of soil-steel bridge structure. Baltic J Road Bridge Eng 4(1):13–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Beben D (2012) Numerical study of performance of soil-steel bridge during soil backfilling. Struct Eng Mech 42(4):571–587CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Beben D (2013) Field performance of corrugated steel plate road culvert under normal live load conditions. J Perform Constr Facil 27(6):807–817CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Beben D, Stryczek A (2016) Numerical analysis of corrugated steel plate bridge with reinforced concrete relieving slab. J Civ Eng Manag 22(5):585–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Beben D, Wrzeciono M (2017) Numerical analysis of steel-soil composite (SSC) culvert under static loads. Steel Compos Struct Int J 23(6):715–726Google Scholar
  14. CHBDC (2014) Canadian highway bridge design code. CAN/CSA-S6-14, Canadian Standards Association International, Mississauga, Ontario, 846 pGoogle Scholar
  15. Duncan CR (1984) Innovated repair of a large failing structural steel plate arch culvert. Transportation Research Record no. 1001, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, pp 98–101Google Scholar
  16. Elshimi TM (2011) Three-dimensional nonlinear analysis of deep corrugated steel culverts. PhD thesis. Department of Civil Engineering, Queen’s Univ, Kingston, Ontario, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  17. Flener BE (2009a) Static and dynamic behaviour of soil–steel composite bridges obtained by field testing. PhD thesis, Royal Inst Technol, Stockholm, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  18. Flener BE (2009b) Response of long-span box type soil-steel composite structures during ultimate loading tests. J Bridg Eng 14(6):496–506MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Flener BE (2010) Testing the response of box-type soil-steel structures under static service loads. J Bridg Eng 15(1):90–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Flener BE, Karoumi R (2009) Dynamic testing of a soil-steel composite railway bridge. Eng Struct 31(12):2803–2811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Groth HL, Moström T (1995) Road culverts in stainless steel. Nordic Steel Construction Conference, Malmö, pp 155–160Google Scholar
  22. Haggag AT (1989) Structural backfill design for corrugated metal buried structures. PhD thesis. University of Massachusetts, AmherstGoogle Scholar
  23. Hermanns L, Fernández J, Alarcón E, Fraile A (2013) Effects of traffic loads on reinforced concrete railroad culverts. In: Dimitrovová Z et al (eds) 11th international conference on vibration problems, Lisbon, Portugal, 9–12 September 2013Google Scholar
  24. Highways Department (2013) Structures design manual for highways and railways. The Government of the Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region, Hong KongGoogle Scholar
  25. Jankowski OA (1979) Instructions for the design and construction of metal culverts from corrugated sheets. Ministry of Transport Construction of the USSR, ВСН, Moscow, pp 176–178Google Scholar
  26. Janusz L, Madaj A (2009) Engineering structures from corrugated plates. Design and construction. Transport and Communication Publishers, Warsaw, Poland, 427 pGoogle Scholar
  27. Jenkins D (2000) Barcoo outlet culvert – the influence of soil structure interaction on the design of a buried arch culvert. Report with the Barcoo project and FEM analysis. Adelaide, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  28. Ju M, Oh H (2016) Static and fatigue performance of the bolt-connected structural jointed of deep corrugated steel plate member. Adv Struct Eng 19(9):1435–1445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kay JN, Abel JF (1976) Design approach for circular buried conduits (abridgement). Transportation Research Record, no. 616, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, pp 78–80Google Scholar
  30. Kennedy JB, Laba JT (1984) Suggested improvements in designing soil-steel structures. Transportation Research Record, no. 1231, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, pp 96–104Google Scholar
  31. Kolokolov NM (1973) Metallic corrugated pipes under bunds. Transport, Moscow, USSRGoogle Scholar
  32. Kunecki B (2006) The behavior of orthotropic cylindrical shells in the ground media under static and dynamic external loads. PhD thesis, Wroclaw Univ Technol, WroclawGoogle Scholar
  33. Machelski C (2008) Modeling of soil-shell bridge structures. The Lower Silesian Educational Publishers, WroclawGoogle Scholar
  34. Machelski C (2013) Construction of soil-shell structures. The Lower Silesian Educational Publishers, WroclawGoogle Scholar
  35. Machelski C, Tomala P, Kunecki B, Korusiewicz L, Williams K, El-Sharnouby MM (2017) Ultracor – 1st realization in Europe, design, erection, testing. Arch Inst Civ Eng 23:189–197Google Scholar
  36. Mai V, Hoult NA, Moore ID (2012) Use of CANDE and design codes to assess stability of deteriorated metal culverts. Transportation Research Board, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  37. Mai V, Hoult NA, Moore ID (2014) Effect of deterioration on the performance of corrugated steel culverts. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 140(2):04013007-1–04013007-11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Maleska T, Beben D (2018a) The effect of mine induced tremors on seismic response of soil-steel bridges. In: Beben D, Rak A, Perkowski Z (eds) Proceedings of the environmental challenges in civil engineering, MATEC Web of Conferences 174, 04002Google Scholar
  39. Maleska T, Beben D (2018b) The impact of backfill quality on soil-steel composite bridge response under seismic excitation. International Symposium on Steel Bridges, IOP Conf Series: Materials Science and Engineering 419, 012040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Maleska T, Beben D (2019) Numerical analysis of a soil-steel bridge during backfilling using various shell models. Eng Struct 196:109358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Maleska T, Nowacka J, Beben D (2019) Application of EPS Geofoam to a soil–steel bridge to reduce seismic excitations. Geosciences 9(10):448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Manko Z, Beben D (2005a) Static load tests of a road bridge with a flexible structure made from super Cor type steel corrugated plates. J Bridg Eng 10(5):604–621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Manko Z, Beben D (2005b) Research on steel shell of a road bridge made of corrugated plates during backfilling. J Bridg Eng 10(5):592–603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Manko Z, Beben D (2005c) Tests during three stages of construction of a road bridge with a flexible load-carrying structure made of Super Cor type steel corrugated plates interacting with soil. J Bridg Eng 10(5):570–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Masada T, Sargand SM, Tarawneh B, Mitchell GF, Gruver D (2007) Inspection and risk assessment of concrete culverts under Ohio’s highways. J Perform Constr Facil 21(3):225–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. McGrath TJ, Mastroianni EP (2002) Finite-element modeling of reinforced concrete arch under live load. Transportation Research Record, no. 1814, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, pp 203–210Google Scholar
  47. McGrath T J, Moore I D, Selig E T, Webb M C, Taleb B (2002) Recommended Specifications for Large-Span Culverts. Transportation Research Board Simpson Gumpertz and Heger Incorporated. NCHRP Report, no. 473, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  48. Mellat P, Andersson A, Pettersson L, Karoumi R (2014) Dynamic behaviour of a short span soil–steel composite bridge for high-speed railways – field measurements and FE-analysis. Eng Struct 69:49–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Michalski JB (2016) Geometric measures of shell compression in soil-shell structures. PhD thesis, Wroclaw Univ Technol, PolandGoogle Scholar
  50. Mohammed H, Kennedy JB, Smith P (2002) Improving the response of soil-metal structures during construction. J Bridg Eng 7(1):6–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Moore RG, Bedell PR, Moore ID (1995) Design and implementation of repairs to corrugated steel plate culverts. J Perform Constr Facil 9(2):103–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. National Corrugated Steel Pipe Association (NCSPA) (2008) Corrugated steel pipe design manual. National Corrugated Steel Pipe Association, DallasGoogle Scholar
  53. Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) (2003) Culvert management manual. Columbus, OhioGoogle Scholar
  54. Orton SL, Loehr JE, Boeckmann A, Havens G (2015) Live-load effect in reinforced concrete box culverts under soil fill. J Bridg Eng 20(11). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Pettersson L (2007) Full scale tests and structural evaluation of soil-steel flexible culverts with low height of cover. PhD thesis, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  56. Pettersson L, Sundquist H (2014) Design of soil steel composite bridges, 5th edn. TRITA-BKN, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  57. Pettersson L, Leander J, Hansing L (2012) Fatigue design of soil steel composite bridges. Arch Inst Civ Eng 12:237–242Google Scholar
  58. Pettersson L, Flener BE, Sundquist H (2015) Design of soil–steel composite bridges. Struct Eng Int 25(2):159–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Pimentel M, Costa P, Félix C, Figueiras J (2009) Behavior of reinforced concrete box culverts under high embankments. J Struct Eng 135(4):366–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Regier C, Hoult NA, Moore ID (2017) Laboratory study on the behavior of a horizontal-ellipse culvert during service and ultimate load testing. J Bridg Eng 22(3). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Rowinska W, Wysokowski A, Pryga A (2004) Design and technology recommendations for flexible structures with corrugated steel plates. Road Bridge Res Inst, Warsaw, 72 pGoogle Scholar
  62. Sargand SM, Hazen GA, Masada T, Hurd JO (1995) Performance of a structural plate pipe arch culvert in a cohesive backfill under large live load. Nordic Steel Construction Conference, Malmö, pp 585–591Google Scholar
  63. Sezen H, Yeau KY, Fox PJ (2008) In-situ load testing of corrugated steel pipe-arch culverts. J Perform Constr Facil 22(4):245–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sobotka MT (2016) Multi-scale numerical modeling of the interaction of backfill with a shell in soil-shell structures. PhD thesis, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, PolandGoogle Scholar
  65. Sutubadi MH, Khatibi BR (2013) Effect of soil properties on stability of soil–steel culverts. Turk J Eng Environ Sci 37:79–90Google Scholar
  66. Taleb B, Moore I D (1999) Three dimensional bending in long span culverts. Proceedings 52nd Canadian geotechnical conference, Regina, Saskatchewan, pp 305–312Google Scholar
  67. Vaslestad J (1989) Long-term behavior of flexible large-span culverts. Transportation Research Record, no. 1231, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, pp 14–24Google Scholar
  68. Vaslestad J (1990) Soil structures interaction of buried culverts. PhD thesis, Norwegian Institute of Technology, Trondheim, NorwayGoogle Scholar
  69. Vaslestad J, Wysokowski A (2002) Full scale fatigue of large – diameter multi-plate corrugated steel culverts. Arch Civ Eng, XLVIII, no. 1Google Scholar
  70. Vaslestad J, Madaj A, Janusz L, Bednarek B (2004) Field measurements of an old brick culvert sliplined with a corrugated steel culvert. Transportation Research Record, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  71. Vega J, Fraile A, Alarcon E, Hermanns L (2012) Dynamic response of underpasses for high-speed train lines. J Sound Vib 331:5125–5140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Wadi AHH (2019) Soil-steel composite bridges. Research advances and application. PhD thesis, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  73. Wadi AHH, Pettersson L, Karoumi R (2015) Flexible culverts in sloping terrain: numerical simulation of soil loading effects. Eng Struct 101:111–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. White K, Sargand S, Masada T (2007) Laboratory and numerical investigations of large-diameter structural plate steel pipe culvert behaviour. Arch Inst Civ Eng 1:245–259Google Scholar
  75. Williams K, MacKinnon S, Newhook J (2012) New and innovative developments for design and installation of deep corrugated buried flexible steel structures. Arch Inst Civ Eng 12:265–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Yeau KY, Sezen H, Fox PJ (2015) Simulation of behavior of in-service metal culverts. J Pipeline Syst Eng Pract 5(2):1009–1016Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureOpole University of TechnologyOpolePoland

Personalised recommendations