Culvert Installation: All You Need to Know

article image

Learn the proper culvert design, size, materials and procedures for safe travel over streams and ditches. Culvert installation will run smoothly if you follow this advice.

Small streams often crisscross rural land, and even those that remain dry for most of the year may have steep banks that prevent vehicles from crossing. The simplest way to safely drive across such an obstacle, while protecting the stream, is to install a culvert and earth bridge.

Culverts are made from corrugated metal or plastic tubes positioned in a crossing to allow water to pass through without damaging the roadway. The culvert’s corrugation provides a greater strength-to-weight ratio than a smooth pipe. This helps support the weight of vehicles, while mimicking the roughness of a natural stream bottom, which slows the speed of flowing water. Follow the culvert installation steps outlined in this article, and you can install a culvert wherever you need it.

Determine Sizing Prior to Culvert Installation

To determine the right culvert size for your situation, you need to consider the dynamics of stream flow and how it changes with the seasons. Peak flow usually is during spring runoff, and it tails off from late summer to early fall. These annual fluctuations can seriously erode exposed soil and cause inadequate crossing structures to fail. As a consequence, culverts should be sized — at a minimum — to handle the annual peak flow, and installed in a manner that will protect the culvert’s strength over time.

  • Updated on Apr 24, 2023
  • Originally Published on Jun 1, 2005
Tagged with: culvert, Culvert Installation
Online Store Logo
Need Help? Call 1-800-234-3368