The Advantages of Precast Concrete Box Culvert Short-Span Bridges
The use of precast concrete box culverts in short-span bridges has revolutionized the industry in recent decades. It’s no longer practical to build a short-span bridge in the field since precast concrete box culvert components make the job so much easier. Precast concrete box culverts are the best option for short-span bridges because of the following advantages.
Precast concrete box culverts save the time it takes to construct a short-span bridge in half. On state highways and country roads, bridge closures can be a major problem, with extensive detours affecting school buses, emergency vehicles, critical personnel, and the general public. From start to end, pour-in-place bridge construction might take months. We recently discovered one project that has been ongoing for almost a year.
Precast concrete short-span bridges will almost likely deliver a cost savings when considering lifecycle costs – the overall cost of the bridge during its lifetime – whether it is taxpayer money or private money. When you examine the whole cost, which includes on-site labor and installation time, precast is comparable, if not less expensive. A box culvert short-span bridge, on the other hand, will last for decades with little or no maintenance other than repaving every now and then.
There are numerous things that can derail the quality of a bridge being built in the field. To deal with the wet conditions, reroute the water, and dewater the site, very competent workers are required. That’s before they even start constructing the forms. The rebar must next be properly installed, and the formwork must be kept clean in preparation for the concrete pour. When you add in curing time and weather, there are a lot of variables to consider that are never an issue in our quality-controlled environment.
Let’s pretend a culvert was washed away by a heavy rainstorm. We’ve seen photos of steel or plastic pipes washing out and floating down the road. The precast structure will be in place 99.9% of the time if there is a flood or a significant backflow event. Then it’s only a question of backfilling the area surrounding it, repaving the road, and you’re good to go. You’re not going to start from scratch and replace the culvert.
The workplace is much safer with the installation of a precast concrete box culvert. The culvert pieces may be installed in a short length of time by a small crew, which eliminates many of the possible safety dangers that a crew building a short-span bridge in the field would encounter. There is simply no better approach for short-span bridge construction than using precast concrete box culvert components for these and other reasons.