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AP-T196-11

AUSTROADS TECHNICAL REPORT


Guidelines for Design, Construction,
Monitoring and Rehabilitation of Buried
Corrugated Metal Structures





Guidelines for Design, Construction, Monitoring and
Rehabilitation of Buried Corrugated Metal Structures

Guidelines for Design, Construction, Monitoring and Rehabilitation of Buried Corrugated
Metal Structures

Published December 2011




Austroads Ltd 2011

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968,
no part may be reproduced by any process without the prior written permission of Austroads.




Guidelines for Design, Construction, Monitoring and Rehabilitation of Buried Corrugated
Metal Structures

ISBN 978-1-921991-10-3


Austroads Project No. TS1603

Austroads Publication No. APT196-11


Project Manager
Dr Ross Pritchard
Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads

Prepared by
Dr Neal Lake
ARRB Group



Published by Austroads Ltd
Level 9, Robell House
287 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Phone: +61 2 9264 7088
Fax: +61 2 9264 1657
Email: austroads@austroads.com.au
www.austroads.com.au




Austroads believes this publication to be correct at the time of printing and does not accept
responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of information herein. Readers should
rely on their own skill and judgement to apply information to particular issues.


Guidelines for Design, Construction, Monitoring and
Rehabilitation of Buried Corrugated Metal Structures




























Sydney 2011

About Austroads
Austroads purpose is to:
promote improved Australian and New Zealand transport outcomes
provide expert technical input to national policy development on road and road transport
issues
promote improved practice and capability by road agencies.
promote consistency in road and road agency operations.

Austroads membership comprises the six state and two territory road transport and traffic
authorities, the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Transport, the Australian Local
Government Association, and NZ Transport Agency. Austroads is governed by a Board consisting
of the chief executive officer (or an alternative senior executive officer) of each of its eleven
member organisations:
Roads and Maritime Services New South Wales
Roads Corporation Victoria
Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland
Main Roads Western Australia
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure South Australia
Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources Tasmania
Department of Lands and Planning Northern Territory
Department of Territory and Municipal Services Australian Capital Territory
Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Transport
Australian Local Government Association
New Zealand Transport Agency.

The success of Austroads is derived from the collaboration of member organisations and others in
the road industry. It aims to be the Australasian leader in providing high quality information, advice
and fostering research in the road transport sector.
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CONTENTS
1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Background ........................................................................................................................... 1
1.2 Aims ...................................................................................................................................... 1
1.3 Scope .................................................................................................................................... 2
1.4 Outline ................................................................................................................................... 2
2 DESIGN OF BCMS................................................................................................................ 3
2.1 Behaviour of BCMS ............................................................................................................... 3
2.2 Failure Mechanisms ............................................................................................................... 5
2.2.1 Corrosion and Abrasion ............................................................................................ 6
2.2.2 Strength-related Failures .......................................................................................... 8
2.2.3 Construction Failures ............................................................................................... 8
2.3 Overall Design Methodology .................................................................................................. 9
2.3.1 Overall Design Process ............................................................................................ 9
2.4 Preliminary Assessment ...................................................................................................... 11
2.4.1 Consideration of BCMS as Appropriate Culvert Type ............................................. 11
2.4.2 Structure Classification (Importance level) Intended Use (Design Working
Life) ........................................................................................................................ 12
2.4.3 BCMS Configuration and Application ..................................................................... 12
2.4.4 BCMS Fabrication and Material Types ................................................................... 13
2.4.5 Site Investigation .................................................................................................... 15
2.5 Structural Analysis Approaches ........................................................................................... 17
2.5.1 Design Loads ......................................................................................................... 17
2.5.2 Ring Compression Method ..................................................................................... 23
2.5.3 Limit State Method ................................................................................................. 26
2.5.4 FE Analysis Method ............................................................................................... 28
2.5.5 Design Method Selection ....................................................................................... 29
2.6 Design for Durability ............................................................................................................. 31
2.6.1 Material Selection ................................................................................................... 32
2.6.2 Corrosion Allowance Methods for Durability Design ............................................... 34
2.6.3 Site Investigations/Tests ........................................................................................ 38
2.7 Detailing ............................................................................................................................... 40
2.7.1 Footings ................................................................................................................. 40
2.7.2 Longitudinal Stiffeners ............................................................................................ 42
2.7.3 End Treatments ...................................................................................................... 42
2.7.4 Invert Lining ........................................................................................................... 45
2.7.5 Spacing .................................................................................................................. 45
2.7.6 Cover ..................................................................................................................... 46
2.7.7 Location and Alignment Considerations ................................................................. 46
3 CONSTRUCTION GUIDELINES ......................................................................................... 49
3.1 Material Handling ................................................................................................................. 49
3.1.1 Material Delivery .................................................................................................... 49
3.1.2 Handling Damage .................................................................................................. 50
3.2 Site Preparation ................................................................................................................... 51
3.2.1 Installation Type ..................................................................................................... 51
3.2.2 Grade ..................................................................................................................... 52
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3.2.3 Camber .................................................................................................................. 52
3.2.4 Foundation Requirements ...................................................................................... 53
3.2.5 Bedding .................................................................................................................. 55
3.3 Pipe Assembly ..................................................................................................................... 55
3.3.1 Assembly Instructions ............................................................................................ 55
3.3.2 Shape Tolerances .................................................................................................. 58
3.4 Backfilling Specifications ...................................................................................................... 59
3.4.1 Material Selection ................................................................................................... 59
3.4.2 Compaction Process and Equipment ..................................................................... 60
3.5 Construction Loads .............................................................................................................. 62
4 STRUCTURAL MANAGEMENT AND INSPECTION OF BCMS ......................................... 63
4.1 Structure Management Planning .......................................................................................... 63
4.2 Workplace Health and Safety ............................................................................................... 64
4.3 Level 2 Structural Inspections: Defect Identification ............................................................. 64
4.4 Level 2 Structural Inspections: Condition States .................................................................. 67
4.5 Level 3 Structural Inspections: Information Collection .......................................................... 68
4.5.1 Type of BCMS ........................................................................................................ 68
4.5.2 Size and Shape ...................................................................................................... 69
4.5.3 Corrugations Pitch and Depth ............................................................................. 70
4.5.4 Height of Fill Material.............................................................................................. 70
4.5.5 Material Thickness ................................................................................................. 70
4.5.6 Maximum Outside Diameter ................................................................................... 70
4.5.7 Voids Present in Fill ............................................................................................... 70
4.5.8 Estimated Maximum Sag in Pipe due to Settlement ............................................... 71
4.5.9 Waterway Description ............................................................................................ 71
4.5.10 Environmental Conditions ...................................................................................... 71
4.5.11 Water/Soil Samples ................................................................................................ 71
4.5.12 Other Defects and Cause (Construction/In-service) ............................................... 71
4.5.13 Sketches ................................................................................................................ 71
4.6 Risk Assessment Method and Treatment Action .................................................................. 71
4.6.1 Situation 1 .............................................................................................................. 73
4.6.2 Situation 2 .............................................................................................................. 74
4.6.3 Situation 3 .............................................................................................................. 75
4.6.4 Situation 4 .............................................................................................................. 76
4.6.5 Situation 5 .............................................................................................................. 77
4.6.6 Situation 6 .............................................................................................................. 78
4.6.7 Situation 7 .............................................................................................................. 79
5 MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR PROCEDURES ................................................................. 81
5.1 Emergency Propping ........................................................................................................... 81
5.2 Repair Methods ................................................................................................................... 81
5.2.1 Repair and Maintenance Methods .......................................................................... 82
5.2.2 Concrete Lining of Invert ........................................................................................ 82
5.2.3 Painting the Invert .................................................................................................. 84
5.2.4 Joint Repairs .......................................................................................................... 85
5.2.5 Replacement of the Culvert .................................................................................... 85
5.2.6 Shotcrete Lining ..................................................................................................... 85
5.2.7 Slip Lining .............................................................................................................. 86
5.2.8 Pipe Jacking Around the Existing Culvert ............................................................... 89
5.2.9 Filling the Culvert ................................................................................................... 89
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6 CONCLUSIONS .................................................................................................................. 90
6.1 Future Directions ................................................................................................................. 90
REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................. 92
APPENDIX A BCMS MANUFACTURERS AND COMPANIES PROVIDING
REHABILITATION SERVICES ................................................................ 95
APPENDIX B REVIEW OF STATE ROAD AUTHORITY EXPERIENCE ...................... 100


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TABLES
Table 2.1: Corrosive level determination ................................................................................... 8
Table 2.2: BCMS configuration and application ....................................................................... 13
Table 2.3: Structures geometrical limits for the limit analysis method ...................................... 30
Table 2.4: Selection of design methods .................................................................................. 31
Table 2.5: BCMS material suitability ....................................................................................... 33
Table 2.6: Selection of durability design method ..................................................................... 34
Table 2.7: Average base metal loss rate per side ................................................................... 35
Table 2.8: Average galvanising loss rate ................................................................................. 36
Table 2.9: Average galvanised thickness for steel sheet ......................................................... 36
Table 2.10: Expected life and metal loss rates vs. pH and resistivity ......................................... 37
Table 2.11: Corrosive level determination ................................................................................. 39
Table 2.12: Abrasion level determination .................................................................................. 39
Table 2.13: Requirements for end stiffening ring beam ............................................................. 44
Table 2.14: Minimum spacing for multiple structures................................................................. 46
Table 3.1: Bolt torque .............................................................................................................. 58
Table 3.2: Select fill requirements ........................................................................................... 59

FIGURES
Figure 2.1: Behaviour of buried corrugated metal pipes ............................................................. 3
Figure 2.2: Ring compression theory whereby overburden and live load stresses are
evenly distributed to the surrounding soil.................................................................. 4
Figure 2.3: Possible deformed shape due to backfill sequence .................................................. 5
Figure 2.4: Heavy corrosion of a BCMS considerable loss of metal thickness ......................... 6
Figure 2.5: BCMS invert corroded away due to loss of granular bedding material in
invert ........................................................................................................................ 7
Figure 2.6: Collapse of a steel culvert during backfilling ............................................................. 9
Figure 2.7: BCMS design actions ............................................................................................. 10
Figure 2.8: Typical lock-seam cross-section of helically formed structures ............................... 14
Figure 2.9: Typical configuration of bolted plate structures ....................................................... 14
Figure 2.10: Height of fill for calculation of dead load pressure .................................................. 17
Figure 2.11: Typical heavy construction vehicle load ................................................................. 18
Figure 2.12: Distribution of vehicle loads through fill .................................................................. 20
Figure 2.13: Live load pressure vs. depth of fill for MS1600 and HLP loadings .......................... 21
Figure 2.14: Ring compression design method flow chart .......................................................... 24
Figure 2.15: Pressure variation around pipe-arches ................................................................... 25
Figure 2.16: Limit state design method flow chart ...................................................................... 27
Figure 2.17: AISI chart for estimating average invert life for galvanised BCMS .......................... 38
Figure 2.18: Arch footing forces ................................................................................................. 41
Figure 2.19: Typical longitudinal stiffener detail .......................................................................... 42
Figure 2.20: Typical cut-off wall and apron details ...................................................................... 43
Figure 2.21: End treatment using gabions .................................................................................. 43
Figure 2.22: Typical end stiffening ring beam/headwall .............................................................. 44
Figure 2.23: Diagram for indicating skew number ...................................................................... 45
Figure 2.24: Improved alignments through channel changes ..................................................... 47
Figure 2.25: Various methods of obtaining correct culvert alignment .......................................... 48
Figure 3.1: Pipe unloading arrangement .................................................................................. 50
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Figure 3.2: Trench installation .................................................................................................. 51
Figure 3.3: Embankment installation ........................................................................................ 52
Figure 3.4: Camber under a high fill ......................................................................................... 53
Figure 3.5: Bedding on soft, rock and firm foundations ............................................................. 54
Figure 3.6: Component sub-assembly method for multi-plate structure .................................... 57
Figure 3.7: Backfilling with plum-bob monitoring ...................................................................... 61
Figure 4.1: Cracks in metal plate probably caused by excessive side pressures
during backfill ......................................................................................................... 65
Figure 4.2: New culvert damaged at joint during backfill, probably due to
construction overload ............................................................................................. 66
Figure 4.3: Multi-plate culvert ................................................................................................... 69
Figure 4.4: Helically wound culvert ........................................................................................... 69
Figure 4.5: Corrugation profile for steel pipes ........................................................................... 70
Figure 4.6: Flowchart for risk assessment and treatment ......................................................... 72
Figure 4.7: Standing water in BCMS ........................................................................................ 74
Figure 4.8: BCMS has significant invert corrosion and will need a reinforced
concrete invert in the next 2 years .......................................................................... 75
Figure 4.9: Heavy corrosion in invert with small perforations to metal structure ........................ 76
Figure 4.10: Heavy corrosion considerable loss of metal thickness ......................................... 76
Figure 4.11: BCMS invert corroded away (loss of granular bedding material in invert) ............... 78
Figure 4.12: BCMS ring movement ............................................................................................ 79
Figure 4.13: BCMS soil arch failure ............................................................................................ 80
Figure 5.1: Example of emergency propping ............................................................................ 81
Figure 5.2: A thin concrete invert lining which has separated from the culvert and
washed away in flood ............................................................................................. 83
Figure 5.3: HDPE lining being installed .................................................................................... 87
Figure 5.4: Relining process ..................................................................................................... 87
Figure 5.5: Estimating largest liner diameter ............................................................................ 88
Figure 5.6: Typical pipe jacking set-up ..................................................................................... 89

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SUMMARY
Buried corrugated metal structures (BCMS) have been used in Australia as an attractive solution to
under road drainage requirements due to the low cost and fast construction times achievable.
Several incidents of significant failures of BCMS, however, have been reported in current practice.
In most observed failures, corrosion has been a critical issue which resulted in subsequent
maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement. In addition, thinner sections have been introduced to
the Australian market and included in Australian Standards, potentially increasing future problems
with premature corrosion and deterioration.
It is critical that road authorities, consultants and contractors use these structures in appropriate
locations and use appropriate design procedures, detailing and construction techniques. In
addition, it is vital that appropriate structural management plans be developed during the design
and planning phase of a project to ensure cost effective and safe management of these higher risk
structures. These plans need to include regular inspections and maintenance processes with
appropriate feedback loops to enhance the management and future design of BCMS.
These guidelines provide essential information regarding BCMS from the design process,
installation, in-service monitoring, through to maintenance and repair procedures. The content of
the guidelines include the following key topics:
A discussion on the available methods for structural designing of BCMS. In addition,
durability design considerations are also included in determining the metal and coating
thickness in order to achieve the desired service life.
Methods of installation and construction required to satisfy the design performance. It
includes construction procedures such as handling of the BCMS, the necessary site
preparation, assembly instructions, backfilling specification and consideration of construction
loading.
Guidelines for structural management and inspection of BCMS. The guidelines include two
major aspects, being defect identification condition rating system and suitable structural
management plans.
A discussion of a number of repair methods for damaged BCMS.
A list of BCMS manufacturers in Australia as well as companies which provide repair and
rehabilitation services for pre-existing BCMS is provided in the appendix. A summary of the
experiences of state road authorities when dealing with design, construction and maintenance of
BCMS is also included as part of the appendix.


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1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background
Buried corrugated metal structures (BCMS) offer an attractive solution to under road drainage
requirements due to the low cost and fast construction times achievable. BCMS are particularly
suited to deep culvert installations where more traditional material types start to become less
appropriate. BCMS work well in these situations due to the flexible nature of the culvert allowing
soil structure interaction to develop and thus significantly improving the structural resistance of a
culvert.
Due to the low cost advantages offered by BCMS, their use has become widespread; however,
there have been several incidents of significant failures in Australia. In most observed failures,
corrosion has been a critical issue which resulted in subsequent maintenance, rehabilitation and
replacement. In addition, thinner sections have been introduced to the Australian market and
included in Australian Standards, potentially increasing future problems with premature corrosion
and deterioration.
It is critical that road authorities, consultants and contractors use these structures in appropriate
locations and use appropriate design procedures, detailing and construction techniques. In
addition, it is vital that appropriate structural management plans be developed during the design
and planning phase of a project to ensure cost effective and safe management of these higher risk
structures. These plans need to include regular inspections and maintenance processes with
appropriate feedback loops to enhance the management and future design of BCMS.
Another key issue related to BCMS is a general lack of expertise and technical
resources/reference material. What are needed are guidelines that will provide engineers who
have little experience in the application of BCMS, with a comprehensive document that addresses
most of the critical issues related to BCMS.
1.2 Aims
The aims of this project are to:
1 Review existing Australian and international literature on buried corrugated metal pipe
culverts.
2 Collect and report state road authority experiences with the design, construction inspection,
maintenance, repair and failures of buried corrugated metal pipe culverts.
3 Develop Austroads guidelines addressing critical issues in the use of BCMS to ensure
appropriate performance of BCMS over the specified design life.
4 Identify specific research and development investigations that will deliver the data relevant to
understanding the performance of these structures in the Australian environment.
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1.3 Scope
The guidelines will consider the following key elements relating to BCMS:
structural design
construction
structural management and inspection
rehabilitation.
Hydraulic performance of BCMS is outside the project scope.
1.4 Outline
These guidelines provide essential information regarding BCMS from the design process,
installation, in-service monitoring, through to maintenance and repair procedures.
Section 2 presents the method for designing BCMS which include structural and durability
considerations. The structural design covers two design methods, the ring compression and the
limit state design methods, which are described in the detail in draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010). A
general description of the Finite Element Method (FEM) is also provided. Durability design includes
the calculation of metal and coating thickness in order to achieve the desired service life.
Section 3 outlines the method of installation and construction required to satisfy the design
performance. It includes construction procedures such as handling of the BCMS, the necessary
site preparation, assembly instructions, backfilling specification and consideration of construction
loading.
Section 4 provides guidelines for structural management and inspection of BCMS. This section
considers two major aspects. Firstly it covers a defect identification condition rating system and the
necessary information needed to be collected during the inspection in order to assess suitable
treatment/repair methods. This aspect of the section is aimed primarily at dealing with structures
that have not been managed well in the past and have progressed to various serious levels of
deterioration. Secondly it addresses aspects of developing suitable structural management plans
to adequately manage structures throughout their life ensuring that serious deterioration levels are
not reached.
Section 5 includes a discussion of a number of repair methods and outlines the advantages and
disadvantages of each method.
Section 6 concludes the guidelines and highlights areas which still require further work once the
draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) is completed.
Appendix A provides the user of these guidelines with the list of BCMS manufacturers in Australia
as well as companies which provide repair and rehabilitation services for pre-existing BCMS. The
experiences of state road authorities when dealing with design, construction and maintenance of
BCMS are summarised in Appendix B.
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2 DESIGN OF BCMS
2.1 Behaviour of BCMS
BCMS are flexible members that rely on soil-structure interaction to function. This makes the
response of BCMS complex. Both the soil and metal structure play a vital part in the structural
design and performance of BCMS and proper installation plays a key role in ensuring that the
structure performs as per the assumptions of the design.
The flexible metal culvert can be considered a composite structure made up of the steel culvert
and the surrounding soil. Both the barrel and the soil are vital elements in the structural
performance of the culvert. As a load is applied to the culvert it attempts to deflect as illustrated in
Figure 2.1 and Figure 2.2. In the case of a round pipe, the vertical diameter decreases and the
horizontal diameter increases. When good embankment material is well compacted around the
culvert, the increase in horizontal diameter of the culvert is resisted by the lateral soil pressure.
With a round pipe the result is a relatively uniform radial pressure around the pipe that creates a
compressive thrust in the pipe walls (Connecticut DOT 2000).

Source: Connecticut DOT (2000).
Figure 2.1: Behaviour of buried corrugated metal pipes
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Source: TMR (2010).
Figure 2.2: Ring compression theory whereby overburden and live load stresses are evenly distributed to the
surrounding soil
A number of factors may affect the soil-structure interaction for BCMS including structural
parameters (profile, size and stiffness), construction method (trench, embankment or tunnel), the
type and placement of the backfill material, and external loading.
Typically soil-structure interaction is ensured by the following:
Passive pressure reaction above the crown needs to be developed for stability by adequate
depth of overburden. Minimum cover depths must be adhered to.
Soil compaction during installation must be adequate. AS/NZS 2041 requires that a value of
90% compaction be obtained in order to use the ring compression method.
The structural resistance mechanisms are formed during the incremental backfilling process and
rely on soil-structure interaction.
The backfilling of a culvert normally includes three stages (Pritchard 2008):
Stage 1 placement of the culvert on a prepared base. A small amount of surcharge is
placed on the culvert crown prior to placing backfill to limit the vertical deformation of the
culvert.
Stage 2 progressive placement of the backfill layers, each typically 200 mm thick, from the
invert until the mid-plane horizontal axis is reached.
Stage 3 progressive placement of the backfill layers above the mid-plane horizontal axis
until completion.
For large diameter BCMS having spans of up to more than 15 m, the quality and properties of the
backfill are important for the proper performance of the structure (Sandford 2000).
Pritchard (2008) points out that for helical steel culverts, interaction during backfilling involves high
lateral earth pressure on the culvert due to compaction of the backfill. The peak bending effects
occur during incremental backfilling instead of when the maximum cover is reached, and these
bending effects are not increased due to legal live loads. Thus the incremental nature of backfilling
is a critical design consideration and should be a fundamental part of the design process.
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Figure 2.3 shows the possible peak bending locations during construction. The figure also shows
the possible effects of rolling which highlights the need for symmetric installation of the fill layers.

Source: CSPI (2007).
Figure 2.3: Possible deformed shape due to backfill sequence
Due to the fact that BCMS are flexible buried structures, they rely on the soil-structure interaction
for their strength. Proper compaction all around the culvert is a vital factor in the construction
stage. Lack of proper compaction of the foundation can make the culvert deflect up and down as
loads pass over it. The culvert can bulge sideways due to live load if the compaction of the soil
within the culverts height is not sufficient. It can also be crushed due to over-concentrated live
loads, if the soil on the top of the culvert is not well compacted (ARTC 2006).
In addition, BCMS special features, such as stiffeners and relieving slabs, have effects on
soil-structure interaction. Longitudinal stiffeners on long spans can improve compaction and live
load distribution. Transverse stiffeners on the top part of the BCMS can resist peaking
deformations from compaction and live loads acting on the finished structure. A reliving slab helps
reinforce the soil above the crown and distribute live load on a wider area (Sandford 2000).
Factors affecting the structural resistance mechanisms include minimum cover and minimum
spacing for multiple installations. Detailed discussion on the minimum spacing and cover is
presented in Section 2.7.5 and Section 2.7.6, respectively.
2.2 Failure Mechanisms
Failures of BCMS may result from serviceability and/or strength-related problems. General types of
culvert problems include (Connecticut DOT 2000):
Serviceability-related problems:
scour and erosion of streambed and embankments
inadequate flow capacity
corrosion and abrasion of culvert metal
sedimentation and blockage by debris
separation and/or drop off of sections of modular culverts
inadequate length.
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Strength-related problems:
cracking of culvert due to force-induced effects such as compression, seam failure and
global buckling
undermining and loss of structural support
loss of the invert of culverts due to corrosion and abrasion causing failure of ring
compression resistance
over-deflection and shape deformation.
The main sources of failure of BCMS are discussed below.
2.2.1 Corrosion and Abrasion
Working permanently in wet areas, BCMS are subjected to corrosion and abrasion due to
environmental effects. Corrosion occurs in several locations such as on the surface being in
contact with the soil, on the inside face at the invert where flowing water is present, or on the
surface exposed to the air. It is due to aggressive agents in the air, water or the fill material such as
salts, metals or other corrosive chemicals. Figure 2.4 shows an example of corrosion failure of a
BCMS.

Figure 2.4: Heavy corrosion of a BCMS considerable loss of metal thickness
Abrasion, on the other hand, occurs mainly at the invert of the structure when the flowing water
contains a bed load of sand or gravel. Figure 2.5 shows an example.
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Figure 2.5: BCMS invert corroded away due to loss of granular bedding material in invert
Corrosion is the major cause of structural failure of buried metal structures. Determination of the
corrosion level for buried metal structures is different to those above the ground. In the
atmosphere, metal corrosivity can be predicted based on relative humidity, pollution level and
temperature. In-ground corrosion is more difficult to predict since it is dependent on local variables,
such as soil chemistry and water content/quality of the soil.
The corrosivity of a site can be determined through the following tests of the water and soil:
1 pH condition is the indicator of whether water or soil is acidic (pH less than 7) or alkali (pH
more than 7). Most of the coating material used in BCMS is expected to perform well in and
around a neutral pH (pH =7). Determination of soil pH should be in accordance with AS
1289.4.3.1. In addition, California test method 643 details the pH and resistivity test methods
for both water and soil (California DOT 2007).
2 Resistivity is an indicator of the inability of water or soil to carry an electrical current and is a
function of the concentration of salt ions dissolved in the water. The higher the concentration
of salt ions that exist in the water, the easier it is to conduct electrical current (less resistivity),
which increases the soils potential for corrosion. Resistivity should be determined in
accordance with AS 1289.4.4.1 (1997).
3 In addition, the draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) suggests that the measurement of concentrate
of chloride and sulphate ions in the fill material should also be considered if the results of the
tests approach the limits given in Table 2.1. The acceptable levels of chloride and sulphate
ions are less than or equal to 200 ppm and 1000 ppm by weight respectively.
The results of the tests should be used in conjunction with Table 2.1 to determine the site specific
potential for corrosion.
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Table 2.1: Corrosive level determination
Corrosive level pH
Resistivity
(ohmcm)
Normal condition 5.88 > 2000
Mildly corrosive 5.05.8 15002000
Corrosive < 5 < 1500
Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).

2.2.2 Strength-related Failures
The main strength-related failures include:
Ring compression failure: this failure may occur if the allowable compressive wall stress is
exceeded due to the compression force resulting from the design load combinations. In can
also occur in combination with invert corrosion. Once the invert has corroded, the integrity of
the ring is lost and with it the primary structural resistance mechanism.
Bending failure: occurs due to excessive combined effects of compression force and bending
moment, which result in plastic hinge formation.
Connection failure: may occur in longitudinal bolted joints.
These failures can be avoided by proper design checks during the design process.
In earthquake-prone areas particular attention must be given to the potential of ground shaking to
undermine the soil support for the culvert and thus resulting in a strength-related failure. Critical
elements include:
settlement induced by shaking
pore pressure build-up in the bedding soils
strain softening of the embedment material
potential for liquefaction of the fill
permanent deformation of the surrounding material.
All of these factors need careful consideration during the design phase.
2.2.3 Construction Failures
Pritchard (2008) reports the results of various tests to failure of helical steel culverts during
installation. The failure of the culvert may be due to:
High lateral earth pressure acting on the culvert during incremental backfilling that leads to
the formation of plastic hinges particularly at the crown.
In shallow cover applications, the passage of a vehicle that imposes a larger load effect on
the culvert than the compaction pressure during backfilling (Figure 2.6).
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Source: Pritchard (2008).
Figure 2.6: Collapse of a steel culvert during backfilling
BCMS material includes corrugated, galvanised steel and corrugated aluminium. The selection of
structural materials and fill materials should take into consideration the effects of corrosion and
abrasion in order to meet the design working life requirement. The following situations should be
taken into consideration:
permanent water
marine or salt spray locations
aggressive soils such as clay soils, saline and sulphate soils
highly acidic or alkaline environments.
For fill materials, the pH value and resistivity value R
b
are key factors. Refer to Section 2.6.1 for
details.
2.3 Overall Design Methodology
2.3.1 Overall Design Process
The design of BCMS takes into account durability, structural failure, bearing failure of the
surrounding soil and handling stresses during construction. The flow chart in Figure 2.7 defines the
design process of BCMS as presented in the draft AS/NZS 2041.1.

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Source: Based on draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Figure 2.7: BCMS design actions
START
Structure Classification
Design Consideration
Determine Minimum Cover
Minimum spacing for multiple structures
Site Investigation/Test
Durability Design Analytical Design (Structural)
Determine Design Loads
Determine Environmental
Characteristics
Determine Material
Suitability
Determine Service Life

Determine Minimum Thickness

Forces for Footing of Arch Structure

Longitudinal Stiffness
End Treatment
Invert Protection
Determine
Design
Method
Ring
Compression
Method
Limit
State
Method
Finite Element
Analysis
Method
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2.4 Preliminary Assessment
The purpose of preliminary assessment is to establish the suitability of BCMS for the particular
situation. The aspects that need to be considered at this stage, before proceeding with the
analytical design process, include:
the design working life
the appropriateness of BCMS for the situation
alignment issues (Section 2.7.7)
geotechnical investigation of in situ soil, upstream, downstream and at the culvert site
the initial shape and configuration of BCMS
the most suitable BCMS material.
2.4.1 Consideration of BCMS as Appropriate Culvert Type
BCMS are typically selected for use due to the low capital cost of installation. Particularly in
situations where there is a lot of fill, other structure types typically become uneconomical due to the
large section increases required to resist the fill and surcharge loads. BCMS can be cost-effective
in situation of fill 12 m or more depending on the shape and size and properties of the culvert.
The lower capital cost of installing BCMS must be carefully weighed up against the whole-of-life
cost. In the past, poor durability performance has resulted in the need to repair or replace many
BCMS. Typically design lives have not been achieved particularly in more aggressive
environments. Along with achievable design life and whole-of-life cost implications, special
consideration also needs to be given to the implications of replacement or repair. There have been
instances within Australia where BCMS have required replacement on major highways with many
thousands of vehicle movements per day. Logistically, closing the road or staging replacement can
be very difficult and costly.
It is suggested that BCMS be avoided in the following instances:
major highways and freeways
roads of emergency or economic significance to which there are no other suitable/time
effective alternative roads
in areas expected to suffer significant flood inundation with overtopping of the roadway
where cover over the culvert is less than the minimum cover requirements stipulated in the
relevant BCMS codes
circular pipe culverts are not recommended where water is likely to pond in the culvert due to
the surrounding geometry.
BCMS structures do not have sufficient internal strength to resist ground deformation, as such; the
integrity of the structure is totally dependent on the backfill and in situ materials remaining intact.
The use of BCMS should be carefully considered in the following instances:
where there is a high potential for liquefaction especially where the site will experience
earthquake or other shaking effects
where hydraulic conditions are such that the headwater depth is sufficiently high to
compromise the integrity of the backfill or in situ material; end treatments are critical here
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where hydraulic conditions are such that there is a high potential for debris load or barrel
blockage.
The total reliance on soil structure interaction for stability also highlights the need for uniform
support conditions along the length of the structure and the importance of the in situ founding
material. If the foundation is rock then sufficient bedding material of a typical pliable backfill soil
needs to be placed under the culvert to ensure that the soil and the structure interact. Sitting the
culvert on a non-yielding foundation is not acceptable because the necessary soil-structure
interaction may not develop.
2.4.2 Structure Classification (Importance level) Intended Use (Design Working Life)
The intended use of the structure greatly influences the shape, configuration and the overall
dimensions of BCMS. For example, if a structure is intended for a traffic tunnel, clearance
considerations will dictate the vertical geometry of the structure. If it is to be used as a culvert
where continuous water flow is to be expected, an arch shaped structure is preferable to eliminate
the chance of invert corrosion often found in closed circular BCMS. Alternatively, concrete lining of
the invert could be considered.
The draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) recommends classifying the importance of BCMS according to
the consequences of loss of human life as well as economic and environmental consequences in
the event of a failure.
Structures are classified into five importance levels as follows:
Level 1 for minor structures such as farm structures
Level 2 for structures not categorised in other levels
Level 3 and 4 structures for BCMS supporting major railways or roadways with high traffic
volume
Level 5 is reserved for special-case structures.
These classifications are used to determine the structure design life. If it has not already been
determined by the owner the following recommendations for design life can be adopted:
100 years is recommended for BCMS supporting major roads or railways or where access
for replacement is difficult or where the existing fill is high or there is a lack of an alternative
route (typically Level 3 and 4 structures).
50 years for minor and local roads or secondary railway lines a 50 year design life is
commonly adopted (typically Level 2 structures).
An appropriate but shorter design life can be adopted for less important roads such as
temporary, private or forestry roads (typically Level 1 structures).
2.4.3 BCMS Configuration and Application
There are a number of cross-sectional shapes of BCMS which have been commonly used,
manufactured and acknowledged in the design codes in Australia. These shapes and the
description of their typical applications are listed in Table 2.2 and are intended to give designers a
starting point in selecting an appropriate BCMS for their project.
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Table 2.2: BCMS configuration and application
Structure shape
Pitch
(mm)
Depth
(mm)
Range of standard structure spans
(mm)
Typical application
Steel Aluminium

Pipe
68
200
13
55
300 to 1950 and
1500 to 8550
300 to 1950
1600 to 4800
Culverts, sewers and sub-
drains, but is also appropriate
for tunnels and bridges

Pipe-arch or
underpass
68
200
13
55
450 to 1800
1925 to 6578
450 to 1800 and
1925 to 5521
Bridges and underpasses with
limited overhead clearance,
culverts and sewers
Horseshoe
arch
Elliptical
arch
200
200
55
55
2400 to 8500
2334 to 8486
2400 to 7100 and
2334 to 7720
Ideal for projects that include
large end areas or large spans.
It is also used for highway grade
separations

Semi circle-
arch
68
200
13
55
300 to 1950
2000 to 8500
300 to 1950
2000 to 8000
Stream enclosures, culverts and
storm sewers

Part-arch
68 and
200
13 and 55 4000 to 8500 4000 to 8500
Stream enclosures, culverts and
storm sewers

Vertical
ellipse
200 55 1363 to 8055 1600 to 4752
Service tunnel, single lane
vehicular and railway
underpasses

Horizontal
ellipse
200 55 1507 to 8750 1600 to 4362
Multi-lane vehicular
underpasses
Source: Based on draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).

The use of closed circular pipes is not recommended where there is potential for continuous
flowing water, water ponding or high abrasion on the site. The arch shaped structures are more
suitable in these conditions. Some closed circular pipes, however, can still be considered if the
appropriate materials and detailing are used such as invert lining.
2.4.4 BCMS Fabrication and Material Types
This section describes base material used in buried corrugated metal structures including coating
options and their suitability.
Type of fabrication
There are two types of BCMS in the market based on how these structures are fabricated:
helically formed
bolted plate.
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Helically formed structures are fabricated by spiralling a corrugated strip into a helical form so that
the opposite sides of the strip come together, interlocking them by seams. A typical lock seamed
interlock section is shown in Figure 2.8.
AS 1761 (1985) specifies fabrication requirements for helical lock-seam corrugated pipes including
a specification for connection between the pipe sections.

Source: AS 1761 (1985).
Figure 2.8: Typical lock-seam cross-section of helically formed structures
A multi-plate structure is constructed by bolting sheets of metal together, following a certain
arrangement to form a pre-determined shape. The plates arrangement is staggered to form seams
in either the longitudinal or circumferential direction as illustrated respectively in Figure 2.9 (a) and
(b).
The details of fabrication are specified in AS/NZS 2041 (1998) which is soon to be replaced by
AS/NZS 2041.4 and AS/NZS 2041.5.

(b) Sheets staggered in circumferential
direction
(a) Sheets staggered in longitudinal
direction

Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Figure 2.9: Typical configuration of bolted plate structures
The types of metals used for BCMS are either steel sheets or aluminium alloy sheets. The steel
sheets are typically galvanised, aluminised (Type 2), polymer coated or have other protective
coatings such as bitumen or concrete/grout to prolong resistance to corrosion and abrasion.
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Base metal
Steel is the most common base material used in BCMS. It is a highly corrosive metal and hence
needs protective coating to ensure its durability. The use of steel within close proximity to the sea
is not recommended, unless it is coated with a suitable material.
Aluminium alloy sheets can be used as an alternative in the marine environment. Aluminium offers
significantly better corrosion resistance than steel but has low resistance to abrasion. The
aluminium sheets are naturally light in weight compared to galvanised structures and consequently
are advantageous in shipping and handling. Having a lower strength, however, results in
installation difficulties such as susceptibility to damage during backfill operation, surface puncturing
from rocks or granular fill material and shape deformation from pressure during installation.
Coatings
There are three types of protective coating discussed in these guidelines which are currently
recognised by the draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010):
Galvanised coating: the standard coating of steel base metal is galvanised coating Z600.
Galvanised coating is applied to steel sheet to increase its corrosive resistance. The method
of application is by hot-dipping the metal into zinc. Zinc corrodes much slower than steel in
the natural environment. Its corrosive resistance comes from oxide films that develop on its
surface. This oxide is a product of corrosion in all metals, not just zinc. It is more stable than
pure zinc and its build-up helps to reduce the rate of corrosion. Zinc reacts with both acids
(pH less than 7) and alkalis (pH more than 7), which means that its ideal working
environment is when the pH is neutral (pH of 7).
Aluminised (Type 2) coating: may be used when the environment is more corrosive. Similar
to galvanised coatings, the corrosive resistance is gained by the formulation of an oxide film
on its surface. This oxide is stable in neutral and many acid solutions but is attacked by
alkalis.
Polymer coating: for an even harsher condition with a high corrosion level and moderate
level of abrasion, polymer coating can be considered. Polymer coating is applied before the
corrugation process, by milling. The corrugation process, especially at the tight bends and at
the lock seams, has been found to weaken the bond between the steel and the coating. This
has resulted in separation of the coating under extreme conditions (Meacham et al. 1982). A
comparative laboratory study of coatings on corrugated metal culverts indicated that a
pre-coated polymer performs better than a bituminous coating under different abrasive
bed-loads (Curtice & Funnell 1971).
There are other types of coatings provided by various manufacturers such as bituminous coating,
epoxy coating, aluminium-zinc alloy (Galvalume) and aluminised Type 1 coating, but their
effectiveness is yet to be recognised by the Australian Standard.
2.4.5 Site Investigation
The performance of BCMS is highly dependent on the site-specific environmental parameters. It is
therefore essential for a detailed site investigation to be conducted in order to ensure compatibility
of the structure and the surrounding environment.
The site inspection can be classified as follows:
General site investigation including observations of local site factors that contributes to the
determination of appropriate BCMS type, configuration and material.
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Specific tests which include the testing of water and soil content for corrosive substances.
This information will be used to determine the aggressiveness level of the site when
designing for durability criteria. This is covered in Section 2.6.3.
Geotechnical investigation of structural design-related factors.
General site investigation and specific tests
The following aspects should be considered during the site investigation:
Access to the site plays a role in determining the configuration of the BCMS and the
method of construction, i.e. whether or not on-site assembly should be considered.
Assessment of the required waterway area, formation width and embankment slope which
control the dimension, number and layout of the structure. Consideration should be given to
over-sizing the culvert to allow for the possible future loss of cross-sectional area due to
invert lining and/or other rehabilitation techniques.
Proximity to the sea is related to the appropriate material selection of BCMS. As previously
discussed, aluminium pipes may be used in maritime environments where galvanised pipes
should not be used.
Soil condition investigation should include the assessment of the native soil as backfill
material. The assessment can be done by conducting soil pH, resistivity testing. This is
detailed in Section 2.6.3. Scour potential should also be assessed.
Watercourse depending on the intended use of BCMS, the site investigation should include
an observation of the existing drainage and water flow, including upstream land use to
confirm the risk of high debris load and/or chemically contaminated water. Flow velocity
should be determined based on typical hydraulic engineering principles. A general guide to
the corrosion potential of the area may also be made by observation of old corrugated steel
structures in the same location on the same watercourse.
Geotechnical investigations
A geotechnical investigation is a critical element in the preliminary assessment of suitability of
BCMS for a given situation. BCMS structures do not have sufficient internal strength to resist
ground deformation; therefore, the integrity of the structure is totally dependent on the backfill and
in situ materials remaining intact. Investigation of engineering properties of the soil should include
elements such as:
in situ density and other relevant material properties
settlement potential
groundwater, slope stability and ability to excavate rock/in situ material
vertical bearing capacity
other factors that contribute to the soil structure interaction such as vertical and lateral soil
stiffness.

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2.5 Structural Anal ysi s Approaches
2.5.1 Design Loads
In general, design loads used for BCMS can be classified into permanent loads and imposed
loads. Permanent loads comprise of the loads due to self weight of soil and other permanent
materials directly above the structure. Imposed loads may include construction, highway, railway,
aircraft, stockpile, mine vehicle and abnormal loads.
Earthquake loadings may also need to be considered if applicable.
Permanent loads
The load due to the self weight of the soil is calculated using the density of the soil. For normal fill
material a unit weight of fill of 22 kN/m
3
is used; however, the unit weight of soil may vary
significantly depending on the soil origin, i.e. volcanic or oxide origins. The load factors for
permanent loads on buried structures are specified in AS 5100.2 (2004).
The load effects resulting from permanent loads are taken as the calculated pressure at the crown
of the BCMS as follows in Equation 1.
h p
G
= 1
where
p
G
= pressure at the crown resulting from dead load, in kPa

= backfill density, in kN/m
3

h =
height of fill from surface to neutral axis of corrugated section, in m,
(refer to Figure 2.10).


Figure 2.10: Height of fill for calculation of dead load pressure
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The soil weight experienced by a culvert can increase or decrease based on the characteristics
and compaction of the soil above the culvert. This is known as soil arching. Pritchard (2008)
described arching as follows. Positive arching occurs when the weight of the soil acting on the
culvert is less than the soil immediately above the culvert. Negative arching occurs when the
weight of the soil acting on the culvert is in excess of the soil above the culvert.
Typically, positive arching should not be considered when calculating soil loads because conditions
can change over time resulting in possible non-conservative assumptions. AS/NZS 2041 (1998)
and the current draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) does not make provisions for positive soil arching.
A soil arching factor is used in the draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) standard for the limit states
approach to structural analysis (Section 2.5.3). This factor depends on the effective vertical and
horizontal dimensions as well as the height of cover of the structure. The soil envelope surrounding
the structure is assumed to always exhibit negative arching i.e. soil settlement increases the load
on the structure, using the limit states method.
Construction loads
Construction loads are often the largest load effect the BCMS may be subjected to. Such loads
occur when the cover depth is not fully constructed or the roads or other structures above are not
completed. Besides normal road vehicles that may pass over, loads may include large construction
equipment such as scrapers, dumpers or similar equipment. Loading parameters associated with
this equipment such as axle load, footprint, axle spacing, load factor and dynamic load allowance
are largely dependent on the specific construction site. These parameters should therefore be
determined on a site-specific basis.
Where the actual construction equipment to be used is not known at the time of design, a typical
construction vehicle load as shown in Figure 2.11 can be used.

Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Figure 2.11: Typical heavy construction vehicle load
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Construction loads are calculated as a uniform pressure at the level of the structure crown, in
which the wheel load is distributed through fill over the structure, from the imprint of the rectangular
wheel contact area at the road surface to a rectangular distribution area at the level of the structure
crown. The length of the sides of this distribution rectangle is determined as follows (AS 5100.2):
For a cover depth of up to 200 mm sides of distribution rectangle =sides of wheel contact
rectangle +0.5h, where h is the depth of fill cover in mm.
For cover depth greater than 200 mm sides of distribution rectangle =sides of wheel
contact rectangle + 100 mm +1.2 x (h 200).
Where distribution areas from several wheels overlap, the total load may be considered to be
evenly distributed on the surface over the total area of distribution. The un-factored imposed load
pressure (
Q
p
) is calculated using Equation 2.
) (
) 1 (
l t
Q
l l
DLA P
p

+
=

2
where
Q
p

= unfactored imposed pressure, in kPa
P = unfactored wheel, axle or track load applied over the footprint, in kN. For
multiple axle vehicles, P is the total load of all axles being considered

l
t
and l
l
= sizes of the distribution rectangle at structure crown level, in m
DLA = dynamic load allowance.
Highway loads
At the time of publication the following load cases are required by AS 5100.2 to determine the most
adverse effects on a culvert:
single wheel load W80
axle load A160
S1600 load
M1600 tri-axle group
M1600 load.
Heavy load platform loads HLP320 or HLP400 may be included as required by the relevant road
authority.
In all the above load cases, the corresponding load factors, accompanying lane factors and
dynamic load allowances are taken as per AS 5100.2 provisions.
The highway load is calculated as a uniform pressure at the level of the structure crown. Dynamic
load allowances are considered at the crown level. It is also important to note that the dynamic
load allowance diminishes with depth. AS 5100.2 (2004) dictates that the dynamic load allowance
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diminishes linearly to 0.1 at 2 m depth. The distribution of highway load through fill is calculated as
per AS 5100.2 (2004) and is illustrated in Figure 2.12.

Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Figure 2.12: Distribution of vehicle loads through fill
Figure 2.13 shows that for shallow applications (cover depth 1.45 m) the wheel load W80
controls, while at cover depths of greater than 1.45 m, the M1600 load is the controlling load case.
When HLP load is considered, it controls when the cover depth is greater than 1.45 m.
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1
10
100
1000
0.1 1 10
Depth of Fill above Crown of Culvert, H (m)
L
i
v
e

L
o
a
d

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
,

p
Q
(
1
+

)

(
k
P
a
)
HLP400
M1600 x two lanes
M1600
A160
W80
1.45

Source: TMR nd b.
Figure 2.13: Live load pressure vs. depth of fill for MS1600 and HLP loadings
Railway loads
The current railway design load is 300LA as specified in AS 5100.2. The multiple track factor,
dynamic load allowance and distribution of railway loads are calculated as also specified in
AS 5100.2. The railway load is calculated as a uniform pressure at the level of the structure crown.
Aircraft loads
The required imposed loads, load distributions and dynamic load allowance for the calculation of
pressure due to aircraft should be obtained from the relevant regulatory authority. The method of
design should be in accordance with the relevant regulatory authoritys specification.
Stockpile loads
Vertical loads at the base of stockpiles are considered permanent loads and are calculated using
the specified average density of the stockpiled material. A stockpile influence factor (k
s
), which
accounts for stockpile geometry and internal stockpile arching should be included in calculating the
vertical loads. A value of 1.0 is taken for k
s
unless a value has been determined for the situation
being considered.
The pressure at the crown level due to stockpile load is k
s
p
s
=k
s

s
h
s
, where
s
is the unit weight of
stockpile material, in kN/m
3
per cubic metre, and h
s
is the stockpile height above the crown at the
section being considered in metres.
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Mine vehicles and abnormal loads
If vehicles other than those included in construction load or highway load categories are used such
as mine haul vehicles or heavy earthmoving plant, the loads are calculated using the expected
vehicle loads with appropriate load factor and dynamic load allowance.
Earthquake
A design of BCMS should also consider earthquake loadings. The draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010)
suggests that earthquake design be considered where any of the following occurs:
The structure falls into Importance Level 4 (AS/NZS 1170.4-2007).
The structure is in Importance Level 3 with a design working life of 50 years or more and the
earthquake hazard factor (Z) is greater than 0.09.
The structure is in Importance Level 2 with design working life of 50 years or more and the
earthquake hazard factor (Z) is greater than 0.12.
For any case other than the above cases where a special requirement is more stringent.
Structures falling into Importance Level 1 and structures with a diameter d
h
of less than or equal to
3000 mm need not be designed for earthquake loadings.
Earthquakes generate actions in vertical and horizontal directions. The vertical component is
usually calculated as 50% of the maximum horizontal component. Only permanent or long-term
loadings are considered for design action because of the low occurrence of earthquakes and the
low probability of a vehicle being on a structure when an earthquake strikes.
For design of BCMS, only vertical earthquake forces are considered because the horizontal
earthquake forces are restrained by the stiffness of the surrounding backfill.
Equation 3 is used to calculate earthquake design action (draft AS/NZS 2041.1-2010).
) 5 . 0 ( 5 . 0
h p u
ZC k G E =

3
where
E
u
= vertical ultimate earthquake action
G = permanent action as specified for ring compression or limit state design
method

k
p
= probability factor as given in AS 1170.4 (2007) appropriate to the annual
probability of exceedance given in AS/NZS 1170.0 (2002) or AS 5100.2
(2004)

Z = earthquake hazard factor as given in AS/NZS 1170.4 (2007)
C
h
(0.5) = spectral shape factor for the site sub-soil class appropriate to the site,
using T (natural period of structure) =0.5 s as given in AS 1170.4 (2007).

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2.5.2 Ring Compression Method
The ring compression method assumes hoop compression in the culvert without any bending and
is the traditional method used for the design of BCMS based on the ring compression theory. It is a
permissible stress design method based on the thrust generated in the structure side wall. The
structural requirement (wall thickness) is determined by comparing the calculated ring compression
forces (design thrust) to the allowable compressive stresses.
This method is based on the assumption that the ring has negligible bending strength, which needs
to be ensured by satisfying the minimum cover requirement.
Using the ring compression method, the main steps for design of a BCMS include:
1 Determine material properties from the product standard.
2 Determine the design pressure at the crown, including permanent, imposed and earthquake
loads.
3 For pipe-arch shape structures, check the maximum allowable haunch pressures.
4 Calculate the ring compression force (F
r
).
5 Check seam strength (ultimate shear strength for multi-plate structures).
6 Calculate allowable compressive wall stress (f
a
).
7 Ensure adequate wall strength in compression by determining the structural wall thickness
based on the required wall area and the product standard.
8 Determine the stiffness required for handling and installation.
9 Determine the minimum wall thickness.
The draft AS/NZS 2041.1 standard provides comprehensive information on the ring compression
method and is recommended for this approach.
The minimum wall thickness of the structure will be the greater of:
the wall thickness based on seam strength and wall compression strength requirements for
permanent and imposed loads plus any durability allowance required
the wall thickness based on seam strength and wall compression strength requirements for
permanent and imposed construction loads excluding durability allowance
the wall thickness required for handling and installation.
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Figure 2.14 illustrates the process of the ring compression method when designing BCMS.

Source: Based on draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Figure 2.14: Ring compression design method flow chart
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Some special aspects to note are:
For pipe arch-shape structures where the shape is multi-radii, the pressure is largest at the
haunch as shown in Figure 2.15. This haunch pressure must be checked to ensure that it
does not exceed the maximum allowable soil pressure.

Figure 2.15: Pressure variation around pipe-arches
The ultimate compressive wall stress f
uc
is based on the ratio of the effective horizontal geometrical
dimension and the radius of gyration of the corrugated section i for three different modes of failure:
wall crushing or yielding
a combination of wall yielding and buckling
wall buckling.
It should be noted that wall crushing is usually the dominant ultimate stress for small spans but as
the span increases local wall buckling becomes dominant.
The following points should also be noted:
If the allowable flexibility factor is exceeded, special measures such as structure bracings or
cabling and/or rib stiffening can be utilised.
Bracing and cabling may be provided as temporary measures for construction and will be
removed once the structure is encased in backfill.
The use of rib stiffening is often found not only to increase the effective area of the wall but
also provides additional strength around the opening or against concentrated loads.
The occurrence of the soil arching effect is achieved by having a proper installation and
compacted backfill. The backfill should be compacted at not less than 90% of the maximum
dry density for standard compaction in cohesive soil as determined in accordance with
AS 1289.5.1.1 (2003). For cohesionless soils, backfill should be compacted at not less than
70% of the maximum density index for standard compaction. The density index shall be
determined in accordance with AS1289.5.6.1 (1998), based on the maximum and minimum
dry densities in accordance with AS 1289.5.5.1 (1998) and the field dry density in
accordance with AS 1289.5.3.1 (2004), AS 1289.5.3.5 (1997) or AS 1289.5.8.1 (2007).
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2.5.3 Limit State Method
This method is a simplified method based on limit state principles and the ring compression
method with a more detailed consideration of soil-structure modelling. The design approach
compares the calculated stresses on the wall in compression as a result of factored loads to wall
resistance capacity.
For ultimate limit states, three conditions need to be checked as follows:
compression failure (buckling failure)
connection failure
combined bending and compression during construction and in-service including handling
during construction.
For serviceability limit states, deformation during construction will also need to be checked.
This method includes the following steps:
1 Determine material properties from the product standard.
2 Determine the design actions and their combination, including permanent, imposed and
earthquake loads.
3 Check the wall strength in compression (buckling failure) for the finished structure.
4 Check the seam strength (connection failure) for the finished structure.
5 Check the plastic hinge failure (combined bending and axial compression) for the finished
structure and during construction.
6 Check haunch pressure for pipe-arch structures.
7 Determine the minimum structural base metal wall thickness.
The draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) standard provides comprehensive information on the limit states
method and is recommended for this approach.
The minimum wall thickness of the structure will be the greater of:
the wall thickness based on buckling failure, connection failure, and plastic hinge failure
requirements for permanent and imposed loads plus any durability allowance required
the wall thickness based on buckling failure, connection failure, and plastic hinge failure
requirements for permanent and imposed construction loads excluding durability allowance.
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Figure 2.16 illustrates the action steps in designing BCMS with the limit state method.

Source: Based on Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Figure 2.16: Limit state design method flow chart
The followings points should be noted:
For the compression failure limit states, the wall compression is assumed to be constant
around the structure.
The load combination of permanent and imposed action during construction is used only for
combined bending and compression checks.
Checks during the construction stage replace the flexibility factor check in the ring
compression method. Maximum bending moment and axial force in the wall are likely to
occur during construction where additional axial force caused by construction equipment
under a shallow cover is to be expected.
The bending moment occurring in the wall M is the combination of bending moments due to
the weight of backfill up to crown level, backfill from the crown to surface level (h
c
) and the
live load applied. It depends on unit weight of the backfill, the axle load of live load, the height
of cover, effective span of the structure and a number of empirical parameters based on finite
element analysis.
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The factored compression force F and bending moment M are calculated using appropriate
loads and load combinations in construction and service stages.
It is important for designers to specify or communicate to the contractor the maximum
allowable construction axle loads that can be used above the structure.
For the construction stage, when the ratio of
h
c
d
h
<0.2, no axial force is considered in the
wall (F = 0).
2.5.4 FE Analysis Method
This method uses a computer program to simulate a real-life structure by a mathematical model by
discretising the structure into a number of small elements and connecting them by mathematical
relations. Results of a FE analysis can be in the form of stresses, strains, moments and
deformations.
The response of a BCMS is complex due to the soil-structure interaction. As a result, the numerical
modelling should be undertaken by a special-purpose FE (or finite difference) computer package
developed to perform deformation and stress analyses for geotechnical applications. A suitable FE
package must have capacity to consider the following:
soil models, including popular soil models such as Morh-Coulomb, Drucker-Prager,
Cam-Clay and Duncan-Chang models. Each model has an applicable range, which is
suitable to a specific soil type with associated parameters. Mlynarski et al. (2008) indicated
that the Duncan and Duncan/Selig soil models are very representative of the non-linear soil
behaviour in most culvert installations
in situ stresses in the soil due to excavation during construction
staged construction, to include the incremental backfilling process during construction. This
includes the capability to simulate the physical process of placing and compacting soil layers,
one lift at a time, below, alongside and above the culvert as the installation is constructed
the interface between structure elements and soil elements. the ability to simulate the
frictional sliding, separation and re-bonding of two bodies originally in contact. Typically these
elements are used between the culvert and soil and between trench soil and in situ soil.
An example of a suitable software package is CANDE (Culvert Analysis and Design). It is a
public-domain 2D finite element program and is widely used among the state departments of
transport in the US (Mlynarski et al. 2008). The report prepared for the NCHRP summarises the
process involved in using CANDE along with tutorial examples and links to other relevant
documents (Mlynarski et al. 2008). The solution output provides an evaluation of the BCMS in
terms of safety (as specified by the user) for all potential modes of failure associated with the
structural material and shape of the BCMS. The program conducts a number of design iteration
cycles to determine the required thrust area, moment of inertia and section modulus. Section
properties are included in the system, which allows the program to search through the corrugation
tables to produce design solutions in terms of corrugation size and thickness.
Another example is FLAC3D a 3D model mesh package which also comes with built-in soil
models. The software was used in developing a simplified design equation for live load distribution
on buried structures in the US (Petersen et al. 2010).
Other FE packages that can be used for modelling soil-structure interaction include ANSYS,
CosmosM, NLSSIP, PLAXIS, SPIDA, and STRAND7.
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FE modelling should always be carried out under the guidance and supervision of an experienced
engineer with extensive finite element modelling experience particularly in non-linear/staged
analysis. The draft AS/NZS 2041.1 has a comprehensive and informative appendix on numerical
modelling with a number of useful and informative references on the challenges and aspects that
need to be considered in FE analysis.
There is always a risk in using FE modelling without reality checks to ensure the magnitude of the
results is of the correct order. Simple hand calculations should always be used to confirm that the
results of FE modelling are realistic.
For BCMS, the following ultimate limit states must be considered in the analysis:
combined thrust and bending
seam strength
global buckling. Although buckling does not normally govern in metal box culverts, for high
cover (>3 m) or large span structures (>11 m), buckling should be checked. Where the leg
is longer than 1.2 m, buckling of the straight lower section of the box culvert should be
checked
serviceability deflection checks.
Suitable load factors, combination and failure criteria can be found in the draft AS/NZS 2041.1
standard.
2.5.5 Design Method Selection
For a specific BCMS, the selection of a suitable design method plays an important role in ensuring
that the installation procedure, structural features and behaviour are correctly simulated. Each
method has advantages and limitations.
Ring compression
The ring compression method is the most simplified design method for BCMS. The following
parameters are the basis for selecting this method for design of BCMS:
This method is only applied to structures that are symmetrical about the vertical axis
(AS/NZS 2041-1998).
This method is only valid if the metal structure has a minimum cover of correctly installed fill
and adequate side support (that requires 90% compaction) so that arching of the surrounding
material can occur. The purpose is to reduce the bending in the metal wall so that
compression governs the design of the finished structures.
Failure of a metal structure designed by the ring compression method is assumed to occur
on the horizontal axis.
The assumed modes of failure include crushing or yielding, ring buckling, and the transition
zone between crushing and buckling.
Structures with rib stiffening are not recommended for the ring compression method since
the rib stiffening will add significant bending stiffness to the structural wall and as a result,
bending stresses will occur.
Pritchard (2008) points out that the ring compression method does not consider the incremental
backfilling process and the resulting bending effects on the culvert during installation. Thus it does
not represent the physical behaviour of a culvert subject to installation loadings. Consequently, it
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may lead to either a conservative design or a lack of check against failure of the culvert during
installation.
Limit state method
This method covers the BCMS that satisfies the following requirements:
at any point in the structure wall, the radius of curvature is not less than 2r
t
, where r
t
is the
top radius (centre line of corrugation) of the structure
ratio of the radii of mating pates at a longitudinal connection is not greater than 8, except for
pipe-arch structures that comply with the haunch pressure requirements
maximum difference in structural base metal wall thickness of lapping plates at a longitudinal
connection is 2 mm for a thinner plate of thickness less than 3.1 mm.
This method can be used if transverse stiffeners, such as steel rib and encased concrete ribs, are
present. The section properties for steel stiffeners can be calculated as cumulative, while for
concrete stiffeners, as composite.
Being developed from the ring compression method, the limit state method is limited by a number
of factors such as:
simplified soil-structure modelling/behaviour
a set of specific failure modes
construction loading sequence, which is governed by a minimum cover.
These assumptions may be critical for BCMS requiring a high degree of design accuracy such as
large span BCMS under shallow fill.
For metal box structures, limit state procedures have been developed; however, these procedures
are only valid for structures with the geometrical limits given in Table 2.3.
Table 2.3: Structures geometrical limits for the limit analysis method
Material Span range (m) Structural rise (m) Crown radius (m) Haunch radius (m)
Steel or aluminium 2.6 to 7.8 0.75 to 3.2 7.6 0.75
Aluminium 7.8 to 11.0 0.75 to 3.2 7.6 0.75
Steel 7.8 to 15.0 1.96 to 3.17 8.0 to 8.82 1.02 to 1.14
FEA method
This is a rigorous limit state method using FE modelling, which can be applied to almost any
BCMS. However, current practice shows that this method normally is applied to structures with
special features or complex geometries that are beyond the scope of application of other simplified
methods such as the ring compression or limit state method. For instance, this method is suitable
for metal box structures beyond the limits given in the simplified method or when railway, aircraft or
heavy off-road vehicles are involved. Bolted plate structures greater than 3.0 m in span or any
bolted plate structures with transverse stiffeners can also use the FEA method.
The design of BCMS with the FEA method is not limited to any shape, size and material and may
be analysed to withstand dead weight, incremental soil-layer loading, temporary construction loads
and surface loads due to traffic.
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Suggested design methods
Table 2.4 presents the scope of application of different design methods for BCMS.
Table 2.4: Selection of design methods
Structure types Span dh (mm) Design method
Helically formed sinusoidal pipes
3000 Limit state method or ring compression method
> 3000 Limit state method
Helically formed ribbed pipes
3000 Limit state method or ring compression method
> 3000 Limit state method
Bolted plate structures
All single installations 3000 Limit state method or ring compression method
All other structures Limit state method or FEA
Bolted plate structures with longitudinal stiffeners All sizes Ring compression method
Bolted plate structures with transverse stiffeners All sizes Limit state method or FEA
Metal box structures All sizes Limit state method or FEA
Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
2.6 Design for Durability
During a typical service life, the structural integrity of BCMS will be affected mostly by the
surrounding conditions. The reduction of a structures durability can be credited to corrosion and
abrasion.
Thin wall steel structures such as BCMS rely on the ability of the structure to withstand the ring
compression that occurs within the structure walls under load. It is critical that the ring
cross-sectional profile is complete and in good condition to be able to withstand the load.
A number of buried metal structures within Australia have exhibited significant corrosion within as
little as 6 years after installation. Many structures constructed in the 1980s and 90s are showing
significant corrosion and in many instance rehabilitation measures have been taken. In other areas
of Australia, BCMS have been installed for over 50 years and are showing no significant signs of
deterioration. The specific site characteristics have a significant impact on the actual design life of
a given BCMS configuration.
The process of designing for durability can be summarised in the following steps:
determine site environmental characteristics (corrosion and abrasion levels)
determine suitable materials for a given environment
determine durability allowance
coating loss rate
metal loss rate
service life
if secondary coating is necessary.
It is critical that the durability allowances/sacrificial thickness calculated in the design of BCMS be
incorporated into a structural management plan which will form the basis of inspection and
monitoring of the structure. Feedback loops are required to both manage the
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performance/deterioration of the structure as well as to improve the experience base regarding
durability performance for future BCMS designs.
2.6.1 Material Selection
In addition to meeting the required structural capacity, BCMS must also satisfy durability
requirements which arise from their service conditions. This mainly relates to preventing the effects
of corrosion and abrasion. Considerations that help increase the expected life of BCMS include:
increasing material thickness by a durability allowance
protective coatings that resist corrosion and abrasion
selection of less aggressive backfill materials
concrete lining of invert to resist abrasion
use of open bottom structures that avoid invert abrasion, such as arches or box culverts.
BCMS materials include corrugated galvanised steel and corrugated aluminium. Galvanised steel
should not be used in conditions where water or wet silt is in contact for long periods, as loss rates
for galvanising may be significantly higher than those for normal conditions. Aluminium has better
corrosion resistance than steel for a number of applications, including coastal marine application,
but has lower strength and abrasion resistance (Sandford 2000).
The selection of structural materials and fill materials should take into consideration the effects of
corrosion and abrasion, specifically in the following situations:
permanent water
marine or salt spray locations
aggressive soils such as clay soils, saline and sulphate soils
highly acidic or alkaline environments.
The pH value and resistivity value R
b
are key factor which influence the rate of deterioration of the
BCMS. Based on these two factors, the environmental conditions can be classified as follows:
non-corrosive: material acceptable when pH 5-12, resistivity 10 000 ohm-cm
normal conditions: material acceptable when pH =5-8, resistivity =2000-10 000 ohm-cm
mildly corrosive: material acceptable when pH =5-8, resistivity =1500-2000 ohm-cm
corrosive for galvanised steel: material acceptable when pH =510, resistivity >
1500 ohmcm
corrosive for aluminium: material acceptable when pH =49, resistivity >500 ohmcm,
except where structures are exposed to sea water, resistivity >35 ohmcm
non-abrasive: no bed load regardless of velocity
low abrasion: minor bed-load of sand and gravel, velocity >4.6 m/s
moderate abrasion: bed-load of sand, small stone and gravel, 1.5 m/s <velocity <4.6 m/s
high abrasion: heavy bed-load of gravel and rock, velocity >4.6 m/s.
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Abrasion velocity should be evaluated on the basis of frequency (average recurrence interval) and
duration. Consideration should be given to a frequent storm such as a 2 year event (average
recurrence interval) or to the mean annual discharge or less when velocity determination is
necessary.
Where cementitious material is used in conjunction with aluminium structures, the barrier
coating/membrane need not be applied if epoxy paint system is applied at the aluminium/cement
interface unless all of the following conditions are met:
Long-term pH of the cementitious material is 12.
No additives or contaminants are present in the cementitious material. These may result in a
more corrosive environment.
The cementitious material usually remains dry throughout the life of the structure (e.g. ring
beam) or is relatively impermeable. Good quality well placed/compacted concrete usually
satisfies these conditions.
All steel reinforcing and other dissimilar metals should be electrically isolated from the aluminium
structure to prevent dissimilar metal corrosion. This may be achieved by protective coating or by
physical separation via plastic packers/chairs.
Once determined, the site environmental characteristics can be used to select suitable BCMS base
material and coating to ensure the design working life is achieved.
Table 2.5 can be used as a guide in determining appropriate material and coating for given
environmental characteristics. Further information is given in the draft AS/NZS 2041.1.
Table 2.5: BCMS material suitability
Material and coating
Corrosion level Abrasion level
Non-corrosive/
normal
condition
Mildly
corrosive
Corrosive
Non-abrasive/
low abrasion
Moderate
abrasion
High
abrasion
Galvanised steel Yes Yes No Yes No No
Galvanised steel with concrete invert lining Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Aluminium Yes Yes No Yes No No
Polymer pre-coated galvanised steel Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Polymer pre-coated galvanised steel with
concrete invert lining
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

By providing an invert with a concrete lining, the pipes overall abrasion protection can be
significantly improved regardless of the coating type. It should be noted, however, that aluminium
reacts with cementitious linings. As a result, aluminium pipes arguably should not be combined
with concrete lining.
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2.6.2 Corrosion Allowance Methods for Durability Design
There are simplified and detailed procedures to make allowance for corrosion. The simplified
procedure is used where the conditions of installation are known in general but no testing has been
carried out. The soil pH may be estimated using simple methods. Where there is any uncertainty
about the conditions being met, a detailed analysis should be carried out. Table 2.6 lists the scope
of application for each method. For large projects with multiple pipes, the detailed procedure is
used.
Table 2.6: Selection of durability design method
Structure Durability design method
Importance level Span, (dh), mm Steel Aluminium
1
< 600 Simplified procedure Simplified procedure
600
Simplified procedure or detailed
procedure
Simplified procedure and consider
salts and abrasion
2
< 600
Simplified procedure if local
experience indicates satisfactory
performance
Simplified procedure if local
experience indicates satisfactory
performance
600, < 3000
Simplified procedure or detailed
procedure
Simplified procedure or detailed
procedure and consider salts and
abrasion
3000 Detailed procedure Detailed procedure
3, 4 and 5 All sizes Detailed procedure Detailed procedure

Simplified procedure
According to the draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) simplified method for galvanised steel structures, no
durability allowance is required if the following set of criteria is met:
the structures are of lesser importance less than 1.5 m in height or width and not expensive
to replace
design working life is 30 years
no permanent water
not exposed to airborne salts, salt or brackish water within 20 km of the coast and not on an
estuary
no corrosive run-off from mines or industry in the area
the fill is usually dry and is free draining
the pH of the local soil and fill material is within the range of 5 to 8
the local soil is not saline nor does it contain sulphates
abrasion is low.
If the design working life is 50 years and the span is up to 3.0 m, a 1 mm durability allowance may
be required.
For aluminium structures, the above criteria apply, except that the pH of the local soil and fill
material is within the range of 4 to 9 instead of 5 to 8.
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Detailed procedure
The structure is required to have sufficient wall thickness for the design loadings throughout its
entire service life. The base metal starts the corrosion process after a number of years in service
when the protective coating is completely lost. When the design service life of the structure is
reached, the remaining wall thickness is no less than the minimum thickness determined by the
structural design.
The detailed durability design procedure according to the draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) includes the
following steps:
Step 1: Determine the corrosion loss rate of the structure (steel loss rate and galvanising loss
rate) for the pH and resistivity of the fill material under consideration from Table 2.7 and
Table 2.8, respectively.
Step 2: Take the average of the loss rate and calculate the loss over the design working life
for the base metal and any coating.
Step 3: Determine the life of the coating by dividing the protective coating thickness by the
average galvanising loss rate calculated in Step 2. The protective coating thickness is
determined from relevant standards based on the thickness of the base metal as shown in
Figure 2.9.
Step 4: Determine the durability allowance for the base metal required to attain the design
life. The allowance thickness is no less than the total loss of the base metal thickness during
the remaining design life of the structure after the protective coating is completely lost.
Step 5: Determine other necessary protection such as invert lining, lining and additional
coating.
Table 2.7: Average base metal loss rate per side
Soil condition Range of metal loss rates (m/yr)
pH
Chlorides
Resistivity (ohmcm)
Drained soils Undrained soils
In soil (%) In water (ppm) Steel
> 5 < 0.5 > 1 000 > 5 000 < 10 < 10
45 0.52 1 00010 000 2 0005 000 < 10 1020
33.9 25 10 00020 000 1 0002 000 1020 2040
< 3 > 5 > 20 000 < 1 000 1040 40300
Aluminium
49 1.01.5 < 20 000 > 500 57 513
Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
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Table 2.8: Average galvanising loss rate
Soil pH
Range of average galvanised coating loss rate (m/yr)
Drained soils Undrained soils
< 4 > 6.5 > 20
44.9 2.65.2 6.713.3
57.9 2.24.3 5.511.0
89 3.36.5 6.112.1
> 9 > 8.6 > 17.2
Soil resistivity (ohmcm) All soils
< 500 > 3.5
5001000 1.53.5
10002000 1.31.5
20005000 0.91.5
> 5000 < 0.9
Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Table 2.9: Average galvanised thickness for steel sheet
Product type Sheet thickness (mm)
Galvanised thickness average
(local min.) (m)
Helically formed pipes
(AS 13972001)
2 45.5
> 2 47.6
Bolted plate structures
(AS/NZS 46802006)
< 1.5 45
1.53 55
36 70
> 6 85
Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).

The thickness of galvanised coating may be assumed to be 1 m for each 7.15 g/m
2
coating
weight.
The draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) provides reference to AS 1397 (2001) for galvanising to Z600 and
AS/NZS 1734 (1997) for aluminium. For polymer coatings reference is made to ASTM A742. For
aluminised Type 2 coating, the average coating thickness of 48 m per side of the steel sheet may
be assumed (Ault & Ellor 2000).
The following should be noted:
Non-aggressive fill materials have pH and resistivity levels within the limit of Table 2.10.
Materials with pH and resistivity outside these limits are considered highly aggressive and
are not recommended for metal structures. Alternatively, other protection should be
considered.
Where abrasion, ponding or drip flows may affect the structure or where the internal surface
will be subject to aggressive corrosion, an invert lining should be considered.
The atmospheric corrosion loss on the interior surface of the structure above the level to
which water regularly rises is generally considered negligible.
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Additional protective coatings are recommended in coastal installations where extended life
is required.
In Table 2.7, the worst case for pH, chlorides or resistivity is used.
In Table 2.8, the worst case for pH and resistivity is used.
Aluminium is vulnerable to soil or water with concentrations of copper greater than 1 ppm
and mercury greater than 0.1 ppm.
Table 2.10: Expected life and metal loss rates vs. pH and resistivity
Resistivity
Acceptable pH range
Galvanising life
(years)
Steel loss rates
(m/y)
Aluminium
loss rate
Galvanised steel Aluminium
10 000 512 49
1015 130
Negligible 2 00010 000 610 49
5002 000 510 49 - -
Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).

Alternatively, look-up charts can also be used to estimate the year of perforation of a galvanised
coated structure.
The example in these guidelines is a widely used method from the US, the American Iron and
Steel Institute (AISI) chart, as shown in Figure 2.17, and the California Method chart (Ault & Ellor
2000). The AISI is similar to the California chart method except for in-service life values. It
assumes the position of 25% perforation metal lost in the invert whereas the California method
assumes maintenance-free service life.
The AISI chart predicts the service year for a BCMS with 1.6 mm wall thickness. For greater wall
thicknesses the multiplication factors in the chart should be used.
The same chart can also be used for aluminium coatings by multiplying the service life obtained for
galvanised coatings with a factor. The CSP durability guide (NCSPA 2000) suggests a factor of 1.3
in appropriate environmental conditions and the FHWA suggests a factor of 3.5 if only the water
side corrosion is considered.
There were specific charts developed to estimate the-year-to perforation for aluminised Type 2
coating, such as that developed for the Florida Department of Transportation (Ault & Ellor 2000).
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Source: NCSPA (2000).
Figure 2.17: AISI chart for estimating average invert life for galvanised BCMS
No studies were found which have investigated the relevance and/or compatibility of these charts
for use in Australia. A designer intending to use the above charts should be aware of the expected
difference in performance as the charts were developed based on the historical BCMS
performance in the US which is different from the Australian environment. Further work on
observing the performance of BCMS in Australia and comparing them to the estimate provided by
the charts is essential before adopting the chart as a design tool.
No data is provided in the draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) for the loss rate of polymer pre-coated
structures. The CSP Durability Guide (NCSPA 2000) provides the estimation of service life for
polymer pre-coated structures as well as other non-metallic coatings.
2.6.3 Site Investigations/Tests
Site environmental characteristics
To adequately assess the site environmental condition, the water and soil pH level and resistivity
should be measured. The level of aggressiveness is a measure of how quickly the environmental
condition of the site contributes to the development and progression of corrosion and abrasion in
the case of a structure designed for flowing water.
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The detailed investigation of deterioration of buried metal structures in Australia has suggested that
three areas of BCMS be considered:
The soil side is the outer surface of the structure which is in direct contact with fill material.
The existence of the ground-water table should be investigated and the pH and resistivity of
the fill should be determined. Most soils fall in a pH range of 6 to 8 which is favourable for
durability. Soils in areas of high rainfall tend to be more corrosive with lower pH values (acid
soils). High clay content soils are more corrosive because they tend to retain water longer
than granular soils.
The water side is the inner surface of the structure which comes regularly in contact with
water, usually the pipe invert. The loss of material thickness at the invert is usually the critical
area which controls the service life of BCMS. As a minimum, the following parameters should
be determined:
water and soil pH and resistivity
flow velocity and bed-load.
The atmospheric exposed surfaces are the inner and outer surfaces of the structure which
are not in contact with water or soil but will be exposed only to the atmospheric condition of
the site. From historical observation, the corrosion rate at this location of the pipe is minimal
and can be neglected. The exception should be made when the structure is expected to be
continuously inundated where the atmospheric conditions can be treated as being of
moderate corrosivity. The exception should also be made when the structure is close to the
sea.
The level of corrosion potential of the soil and water can be determined based on the result of the
pH and resistivity test within the range set in Table 2.11. The most severe corrosion due to pH or
resistivity should be considered for durability design.
Table 2.11: Corrosive level determination
Corrosive level pH
Resistivity
(ohm cm)
Normal condition 5.88 > 2000
Mildly corrosive 5.05.8 15002000
Corrosive < 5 < 1500

The expected abrasion level of the invert shall be determined using Table 2.12.
Table 2.12: Abrasion level determination
Abrasion level Bed-load content Flow velocity
Non-abrasive None Any
Low abrasion Minor (sand and gravel) < 1.5 m/s
Moderate abrasion Sand, small stone, gravel 1.5 m/s, 4.6 m/s
High abrasion Heavy (gravel and rock) > 4.6 m/s

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2.7 Detailing
The following details should be taken into consideration when designing the BCMS:
footing details
longitudinal stiffeners
end treatment, including end stiffening ring beams and batter protection and headwalls
invert lining.
2.7.1 Footings
Design of footings shall include the following:
geotechnical investigation of the foundation material
full coordination of the design of the metal structure and the footing
design of the footing using an accepted method.
Forces acting on footings for arch structures
For arch structures the design of footings should use the vertical and horizontal components of
compression force acting on the bottom part the wall (F
b
) as illustrated in Figure 2.18. The vertical
and horizontal forces are therefore defined using Equation 4 as follows:

Sin F F
Cos F F
b h
b v
=
=

4
where
F
b
= arch footing force, in kN/m run of structure
F
V
= vertical arch footing force, in kN/m run of structure
F
h
= horizontal arch footing force, in kN/m run of structure
= arch re-entrant angle, in degrees.

The following factors should also be considered when designing BCMS footings:
variation in footing design along the length of the BCMS as a result of load variation
potential scouring of footing when continuous water flow is to be expected
differential settlements
provision of a construction joint to separate concrete lining from the footings
between footings
vertical and horizontal forces during construction.
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It is undesirable to make the corrugated metal arch stiffer or unyielding compared to the adjacent
side fill. The use of massive footings or piles to prevent any settlement of the arch is generally not
recommended. Providing for some arch settlement helps to induce positive soil arching and avoids
possible drag down due to consolidation of the adjacent side fill.


Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Figure 2.18: Arch footing forces
b b
b b
b b
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2.7.2 Longitudinal Stiffeners
Longitudinal stiffeners are used with bolted plate structures. The stiffeners transfer transverse
compression in the wall to the fill. The fill resists forces by passive pressure against the vertical
face of the longitudinal stiffener and a portion of the side wall of the structure. Details of a typical
stiffener are illustrated in Figure 2.19.

Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Figure 2.19: Typical longitudinal stiffener detail
For the design of the longitudinal stiffener, the draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) provides a suitable
method.
2.7.3 End Treatments
End treatments are critical to the longevity of BCMS. One of the fundamental requirements for
adequate performance is to protect the culvert from piping/erosion of the backfill. Aside from
perforated inverts due to corrosion, erosion around the ends of the culvert is one of the major
problems with protecting the integrity of the backfill material. End treatments are a key element to
ensuring erosion does not occur. While it is acknowledged that using concrete headwall structures
with cut-off walls is very effective in controlling these piping/erosion effects, sometimes these
standard details do not work. The designer needs to investigate and understand the site so as to
control these effects. Key factors that must be considered include the likelihood of overtopping,
debris load and the potential for culvert blockage.
There are a number of end treatments designers can consider for BCMS:
(a) Headwalls are entrance structures that protect the embankment from erosion and improve
the hydraulic efficiency of the culvert. They provide embankment stability and protection from
buoyancy. Properly designed, they shorten the required structure support length and reduce
maintenance damage. They also provide structural protection to inlets and outlets. Headwalls
should be considered for multiple hydraulic installations (BCMS which are expected to
accommodate flowing water) with d
h
900 mm. For installation where d
h
<900 mm, batter
protection is sufficient.
(b) Cut-off walls and aprons are used at the inlets of the culvert to prevent scouring and
undermining from high headwater depths or from approach velocity in the channel to
eliminate clogging by vegetation growth. They are used to improve hydraulic efficiency at the
inlets. Most aprons include a cut-off wall to protect them from undermining. Cut-off walls
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should be considered for the upstream end of all hydraulic structures, and where necessary
on the downstream end. They are typically reinforced concrete with minimum depth of 600
mm. A typical cut-off wall and apron is illustrated in Figure 2.20.

Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Figure 2.20: Typical cut-off wall and apron details
(c) Batter protection provides stability for the embankment adjacent to and around the ends of
BCMS and to protect the ends from adverse hydraulic effects. Batter protection includes use
of gabions, armoured rocks, mass concrete and reinforced concrete (Figure 2.21).

Source: CSPI (2007).
Figure 2.21: End treatment using gabions
(d) End-stiffening ring beams are not required for structures with d
h
<900 mm. For structures
with d
h
900 mm, Table 2.13 should be consulted for the end-stiffening ring beam
requirement. A typical end-stiffening ring beam is illustrated in Figure 2.22.
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Table 2.13: Requirements for end stiffening ring beam
Skew
number*
End treatment
Skew in degree
Vertical
square
cut end
Stepped or bevelled to embankment slope
1V:1H 1V:1.5H 1V:2H
Flatter than
1V:2H
< 55 This skew number is not recommended 35
5574 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 16 to 35
7584 No No Yes Yes Yes 6 to 15
8595 No No No No Yes 5
96105 No No Yes Yes Yes 6 to 15
106125 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 16 to 35
> 125 This skew number is not recommended > 35
* For detail on determining the skew number see Figure 2.23.
Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).


Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Figure 2.22: Typical end stiffening ring beam/headwall
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Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
Figure 2.23: Diagram for indicating skew number
(e) Manufactured end finishes are made to suit the site conditions. Standard end finishes are
square ends, step bevels, skews, full bevels and skew bevels.
2.7.4 Invert Lining
The most common invert protection method is by lining the invert with reinforced concrete. The
lining serves as a protection of the surface from abrasion and corrosion.
The installation of invert lining is recommended to take place after initial flexure and settlement
ceases, typically six months after BCMS installation.
The connections between the lining and the wall are usually achieved by welding of reinforced
bars. There is a concern, however, about heat damage on the BCMS surface around these
connections.
As an alternative, the use of reinforced concrete shear keys can be considered (Luczak et al.
2009). The shear keys are installed by cutting a rectangular hole into the wall of the BCMS to form
a small hole in the backfill which is filled with reinforced concrete that is continuous with the invert
lining.
2.7.5 Spacing
Multiple barrels are often used to obtain adequate hydraulic capacity under low embankments or
for wide waterways. Sometimes multiple barrels may be prone to clogging as the area between
barrels tends to catch debris and sediment. When a channel is artificially widened, multiple barrels
placed beyond the dominant channel may be subject to excessive sedimentation
(Connecticut DOT 2000).
For multiple installations, a minimum space between structures is required to ensure that adequate
backfill support is provided to the structure and the fill above. This is also to ensure an adequate
room for compaction. Table 2.14 represents the required minimum spacing for multiple installations
of different span ranges.
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Table 2.14: Minimum spacing for multiple structures
Span dh (mm)
Minimum spacing between structure (mm)
Select and modified fill Flowable fill
dh 900 300 150
900 < dh 3000
3
h
d
150
3000 < dh 5000 1000 (2000 for bolted plate structure) 200 (400 for bolted plate structure)
5000 < dh 8500 1000 (2000 for bolted plate structure) 300 (600 for bolted plate structure)
dh > 8500 To be determined by limit state or finite element analysis To be determined
Source: Draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010).
2.7.6 Cover
A minimum cover is required to ensure that bending moments due to live loads are restricted to
levels which may be safely neglected in the design. For bolted plate structures with shallow
corrugations, the minimum cover is the greater of:
600 mm for highway application and 700 mm for railway applications

v
h h
d
d d
6


2
400

v
h
d
d
.
where d
h
and d
v
are the effective horizontal and vertical geometrical dimension of the BCMS, in
millimetres, respectively.
For bolted plate structures with deep corrugations, the minimum cover is the smaller of 1500 mm
and the minimum design cover for shallow corrugations for the same structure size.
For the other imposed loads and during the construction stage, the minimum cover is determined
based on following considerations:
The minimum cover should be calculated for the design loads.
The minimum cover for these loads is significantly higher than the relevant highway or
railway design loads and should be determined using specialist engineering advice.
Prior to construction commencing a design check shall be undertaken for the actual
construction equipment to determine if additional cover is required.
2.7.7 Location and Alignment Considerations
Aspects of location and alignment are critical to the overall success of BCMS. The Canadian
handbook of steel drainage design (CSPI 2007) provides some useful information on this topic of
which the key aspects are summarised below.
Proper location is important because it influences the adequacy of the opening, maintenance of the
culvert, protection from flooding of adjoining improvements, and possible washout of the roadway.
It is necessary to consider the adjoining property both upstream where ponding may be an issue
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and ensuring the downstream side has safe exiting velocities in order to avoid undue scour or
silting downstream.
Since a culvert is a fixed line in a stream, engineering judgement is necessary to locate the
structure particularly due to the variable nature of streams over time.
The key principles of alignment can be summarised as follows:
Provide the stream with a direct entrance and direct exit to avoid retarding the flow. To
achieve a direct entrance and exit the channel may need to be modified or a skew culvert
alignment adopted.
Reasonable precautions are needed to prevent the stream changing course near the ends of
the culvert. This may include suitable end treatments like steel or concrete end sections,
riprap, grass or paving to assist in avoiding erosion.
Culverts for drainage of cut and fill sections on long, descending grades should be placed on
a skew of about 45 degrees across the roadway to ensure the flow of water will not be
retarded.
A broken alignment under a roadway may be appropriate in long culverts where differing
alignments at the entry and exit would be beneficial.
Figure 2.24 shows two examples of improved alignments through channel changes. Figure 2.25
presents various methods of obtaining correct culvert alignment.

Source: CSPI (2007).
Figure 2.24: Improved alignments through channel changes
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Source: CSPI (2007).
Figure 2.25: Various methods of obtaining correct culvert alignment
The ideal grade for a culvert will ensure neither silting nor excessive velocities and scour. The
reader is referred to CSPI (2007) for additional information on suitable hydraulic performance.
A slope of 1 to 2% is advisable. In general a minimum slope of 0.5% will avoid sedimentation.
A culvert should be long enough so that the ends do not clog with sediment or become covered
with settling, spreading embankment material.
Pre-cambering needs to be considered for culverts under high fill situations to ensure that
excessive settlement does not result in a low spot in the centre of the culvert which may result in
water ponding or excessive sediment build-up, both of which may result in accelerated
deterioration of the culvert.
Multiple barrels are often used to obtain adequate hydraulic capacity under low embankments or
for wide waterways. Sometimes multiple barrels may be prone to clogging as the area between
barrels tends to catch debris and sediment. When a channel is artificially widened, multiple barrels
placed beyond the dominant channel may be subject to excessive sedimentation
(Connecticut DOT 2000).
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3 CONSTRUCTION GUIDELINES
Construction is a critical aspect of the successful long-term performance of BCMS. In order for the
design theories in Section 2 to be valid, proper construction procedures for BCMS will need to be
followed as outlined in this section.
The construction procedures should consider:
material handling
site preparation
backfilling
invert protection
final structure shape.
In addition to these guidelines the designer should also consider appropriate standards and
manufacturer specifications, such as AS1762-1984, AS 3703.1-1989, AS/NZS 2041 (1998) and
when it is released AS/NZS 2041.1, which will supersede the previous document.
3.1 Material Handling
3.1.1 Material Delivery
The flexible nature of BCMS should be considered in all aspects of handling, including the process
of unloading onto the site. The pipes can generally be moved around the site using one of the
following methods described by the Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC 2006) and shown
in Figure 3.1:
Slings, which can be installed in one of two ways
for small diameter pipes, in short lengths, a sling can be attached to either end of the
pipe using end hooks. Care should be taken in lifting and lowering of the pipe to avoid
damage at pipe ends
for larger diameter pipes, a sling can be installed around the circumference of the pipe
at two different locations. The pipe is then lifted at each of these points. The two slings
should not be separated by any more than 15 pipe diameters.
If a pipe is being removed off a truck, a support rope should be slung around the pipe to
ensure that the rolling speed can be controlled. Using the restraining rope, the pipe can then
be rolled down a timber ramp onto a flat surface. Pipes may also be rolled across a flat
foundation; however, the path should be free from all abrasive obstacles to prevent damage
occurring to the coating.
Bolted structures typically arrive on site nested in bundles and can be unloaded using a
crane.
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Source: ARTC (2006).
Figure 3.1: Pipe unloading arrangement
3.1.2 Handling Damage
Before the BCMS is installed it should be checked for any damage to the structure or protective
coating. Although BCMS may still be able to function effectively with minor damage, damage
around either end will result in problems in creating a watertight connection using the coupling
bands (ARTC 2006). Damage to the protective coating may also cause problems for the corrosion
resistance of the structure. Therefore, any damage in the coating should be repaired before
installation.
To repair the coating the damaged area should first be cleaned to remove any existing dirt, loose
or cracked coating and any corrosive residue, which will impede the reapplication of the coating.
This removal can be done using sand blasting, power disk sanding, or wire brushing. A solvent can
also be used if oil or a grease material is present on the structure. After the surface has been
cleaned and left to dry, the coating may be reapplied.
The American Natural Research and Conservation Service, (NRCS 2001), suggests that if more
than 0.2% (or approximately 77 cm
2
) of the metallic coating is damaged then it should be rejected.
For non-metallic coatings, the following is suggested (NRCS 2001):
For bituminous coatings: the re-application should be a minimum of 1.30 mm thick after
hardening. The structure should be rejected when the total area of breaks exceeds 0.5% of
the total surface area (or approximately 230 cm
2
) for a given pipe.
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For polymer coatings: the re-application should be a minimum of 0.25 mm thick after drying.
The structure should be rejected when the total area of breaks exceeds 0.5% of the total
surface area (or approximately 230 cm
2
) for a given pipe.
3.2 Site Preparation
3.2.1 Installation Type
There are two common methods of installation of BCMS, a trench or an embankment installation.
A trench installation, as seen in Figure 3.2, occurs when the culvert is placed within a trench of a
controlled width, along the natural ground surface or compacted fill. AS/NZS 2041 (1998) specifies
the minimum trench width on either side of the structure as 300 mm and 150 mm for select fill and
flowable fill respectively. When released the draft AS/NZS 2041.2 standard should be consulted.

Source: AS/NZS 2041-1998.
Figure 3.2: Trench installation
In comparison, an embankment installation, as seen in Figure 3.3, occurs when a culvert is placed
along the natural ground surface, or compacted fill, and has an embankment constructed above it.
AS/NZS 2041 (1998) states that for installing a structure in an embankment, the select fill should
extend a minimum distance equal to the span of the structure on each side, subject to geotechnical
investigation.
For very large diameter structures with minimum cover, the d
h
min at mid-height of the culvert is
not considered acceptable for defining the selected backfill zone. A lateral distance of d
h
/2 from the
wall of the culvert at a vertical location of 10% of d
n
below the crown should be used to ensure
there is adequate select fill in the upper quadrant areas.

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Source: AS/NZS 2041 (1998).
Figure 3.3: Embankment installation
AS/NZS 2041-1998 assumes that all installations are considered to be of the embankment type,
unless the soil that surrounds the select fill, used in the backfilling operations, has a strength and
stiffness higher than or equal to that of the select fill.
Installation of multi-structures should consider the minimum spacing between structures as
specified in the draft AS/NZS 2041.1.
3.2.2 Grade
The grade of the pipe should be developed in the design process, taking into account the site
conditions. A minimum fall rate of 0.5% is suggested to prevent sediment forming within the
culvert, whilst at the same time preventing scouring at the outlet.
The height at which the culvert is installed in relation to the river bed is also important, as incorrect
installation will result in scouring.
3.2.3 Camber
Pipes which are installed on top of foundations that are expected to settle, which is often the case
for those constructed using high levels of embankment fill (over 4.0 m), will need to incorporate a
camber into their initial installation process (ARTC 2006). To establish a camber the pipe is
installed using two different grades, usually a flat grade on the upstream section and a steeper
grade on the downstream section of pipe (Connecticut DOT 2000). This causes a high point to
form in the centre, as seen in Figure 3.4. Over time, as the weight of embankment causes
settlement, the camber will flatten out, resulting in a consistent grade.
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Source: Connecticut DOT (2006).
Figure 3.4: Camber under a high fill
It is important to consider the installation and soil conditions to determine if a camber is required
and if so, the appropriate grade at which to install it. Lack of a camber in high-settling foundations
may result in a disruption to the watercourse over time, as the pipe slumps in the centre.
3.2.4 Foundation Requirements
To ensure the long-term structural integrity of BCMS it is important to install them onto a firm,
stable and uniform foundation. Therefore, before commencing installation it is important to check
the quality of the natural foundation and take remedial action if required.
Although the foundation material should provide adequate support for the entire length of the
structure it should not be stiffer than the undisturbed ground that supports the backfill on either side
of the structure. In addition to this it is also important that the structure is not as stiff as the
associated side fill. Installing side fill that is less compressible than the structure, allows positive
soil arching to occur. It is generally not recommended that massive footings or piles be used to
compensate for the settlement of the foundation. It is, however, acceptable to reduce some of the
structures settlement, using other means such as a camber within the installation. This helps to
induce positive soil arching and may reduce the possibility of drag down, caused by consolidation
of the side fill.
Before commencing installation the natural foundation should be assessed by the appropriate
geotechnical personnel, in regard to its ability to provide uniform support over the entire structure.
It should consist of a bed of dense, finely and evenly graded material, which has been well
consolidated. If the foundation is deemed to be suitable, it should be prepared to a level 75 mm
below the invert level of the structure. This is known as the bedding layer (Section 3.2.5) as shown
in Figure 3.5.
Rock foundations can be a source of major problems as they can cause the structure to flatten out
along its invert. As a result the rock should be excavated to a depth of 250 mm or d
h
/4, whichever
is less, below the structures invert, as seen in Figure 3.5 (b). The minimum width of the excavation
should be equal to the structures internal span or diameter, ensuring that no part of the structure is
able to bear directly on rock, which would result in a non-uniform loading. The excavated
foundation should be filled with a compacted select material to a level 75 mm below the invert.
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Soft or unstable soil foundations (such as highly plastic clays and silts) may result in excessive
areas of slumping along the structure, which can cause:
deformation of the structure
high tensile forces that may induce separation of the seam along the invert
ponding
scouring of the underlying bedding, due to ponding and seam separation
sinking of the bedding and backfill into the underlying layers.
To prevent these impacts from occurring, it is suggested that the soft or unstable soil should be
removed and replaced with an appropriate compacted material which may provide adequate
support. Depending on the strength of the soil, geotechnical advice may need to be sought to
determine the extent of soil which should be replaced. As a general recommendation a minimum
depth of 250 mm of the inadequate soil should be removed and replaced with a suitable compact
material, such as quarry waste, leaving a 75 mm depth for the bedding. The width of the
excavation should be two times the internal span, or diameter, of the structure width, as seen in
Figure 3.5 (a). When released the draft AS/NZS 2041.2 standard should be consulted for any
variations of these parameters.
To prevent the material from sinking into the underlying soil, a layer of geotextile fabric may need
to be installed to separate the new and existing layers of material.

Source: AS/NZS 2041 (1998).
Figure 3.5: Bedding on soft, rock and firm foundations
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All foundations, regardless of material, need to be free of protruding stones, large hard lumps,
roots and other foreign matter (Connecticut DOT 2000). All soil lumps larger than 75 mm should be
removed if they are in the top 75 mm of the foundation to ensure correct bedding requirements are
met (ARTC 2006).
All foundations should be excavated so that they conform to the curvature along the structures
invert. This may allow also for more efficient compaction of the backfill under the structures
haunch zones.
3.2.5 Bedding
An appropriate bedding material is required under all installed structures. The purpose of the
bedding is to ensure that the load is distributed evenly, and to even out irregularities in the
foundation.
It is recommended that a uniformly deep 75 mm layer of uncompacted coarse granular bedding is
placed over the top of the foundation. It should be levelled and contain suitable material which is
able to fill in along the structures corrugations. In particular structure types, such as a pipe arch,
the bedding should not be placed in the haunch zones.
A suitable bedding material should be a well graded coarse sand or gravel, with a maximum
particle size of 12 mm. The minimum width of the bedding under the structure should be one-third
of the structures effective horizontal dimension (d
h
). If the foundation material is acceptable it may
be racked to loosen the foundation material to create a suitable bedding layer.
The bedding layer should also be shaped to ensure it conforms to the curvature of the structure to
ensure efficient compaction.
Appropriate precautions and techniques should be incorporated into the structure design to ensure
that the bedding is safe from erosion and scouring. This can be achieved using cut-off walls at the
end of the structure to prevent water ingress or using other suitable devices (see Section 2.7.3 for
suitable end treatment).
3.3 Pipe Assembl y
3.3.1 Assembly Instructions
To ensure correct assembly procedures the pipe should be installed according to the
manufacturers specifications.
For helical lock seam corrugated steel pipes the first step in the process is to lay the first pipe at
the downstream end. The coupling band is then fitted around the laid pipe before the next pipe is
butted up against it (usually allowing a gap of around 5 to 10 mm depending on the location of the
corrugations). The coupling band should overlap both pipe sections equally. This process should
be continued for the laying of each pipe. When it is certain that the pipes have been correctly
aligned, the bolts on the coupling band should be tightened (ARTC 2006).
For multi-plate structures there are four methods of assembly (CSPI 2007):
1 Pre-assembly of rings where circumferential rings of round structures have been
pre-assembled off-site. The rings are then transported to the site for connection along their
circumferential seams.
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2 Complete pre-assembly. The pre-assembly can be done at the factory, usually for relatively
short pipe lengths and for small span projects (size is limited by shipping/transportation). The
pre-assembly can also be done on the project site for structures to be lifted or skidded intact
into place.
3 Plate-by-plate assembly. This is the most common method of assembly where structures are
assembled directly on the prepared bedding in a single plate-by-plate erection sequence,
starting from the invert, then the sides and finally the top. As few bolts as possible should be
used to align the plates. Only after part of the structure has been assembled into shape by
partial bolting, can the remaining bolts be inserted and hand tightened. Once all the parts
have been aligned, the bolts should be torqued with a power wrench.
4 Component sub-assembly. The components are usually divided to the bottom plates, the
side plates and the crown plates. These are assembled away from the bedding allowing the
assembly process and the construction of the foundation and bedding to be carried out at the
same time. The process is illustrated in Figure 3.6 which is also useful in demonstrating the
backfilling sequence.
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Source: CSPI (2007).
Figure 3.6: Component sub-assembly method for multi-plate structure
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The bolts used should have an acceptable bolt torque as specified by AS/NZS 2041 (1998) and
listed in Table 3.1. Reference to AS 4100 (1998) should be made for information on the inspection
of bolt tightness.
To ensure that these specifications are met throughout the structure, 1% of randomly selected
bolts along the longitudinal seams should be tested. If any of these bolts fail, 5% of the bolts in the
circumferential and longitudinal seams shall be tested to ensure that they fall within the allowable
range.
Table 3.1: Bolt torque
Structure class
Plate thickness
(mm)
Torque range (Nm)
Steel Aluminium
1 (bolted) 1.23.5 20 5 10 2
2 2.55 310 40 170 15
2 68 395 25 170 15
Source: AS/NZS 2041 (1998).

AS/NZS 2041 (1998) also notes that in using this table:
Bolt torque values at the lower end of the allowances are preferable to those values at the
higher end, as they allow for the corrugations of lapping plates to be closely nested and
aligned without being damaged by excessive bolt tightening.
Bolts and nuts used in Class 1 flanged-type structures and to connect arch structures to base
channels should be hand-tightened only.
3.3.2 Shape Tolerances
Before backfilling commences the structure should be checked to ensure that it is within the
required tolerances and manufacturer specifications. The structure length should not differ from the
specified structure length by any more than 1%. In regard to the cross-sectional shape, the
effective horizontal (d
h
) and vertical (d
v
) dimensions of the structure should not differ by more than
2% to the values stated in AS/NZS 2041 (1998) or specified by the designer if is a non-
referenced shape. When released the Draft AS/NZS 2041.2 standard should be consulted for
additional/revised information.
If the structure is considered to be a long span structure, the shape should conform to the following
tolerances throughout the construction process:
Horizontal ellipses should not have diameters that vary from those specified by more than
2%.
High profile, low profile and pear arches should not have vertical or horizontal centreline
dimensions that differ from those specified by more than 1%.
Inverted pear shapes should not have vertical or horizontal centreline dimensions that differ
from those specified by more than 2%.
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3.4 Backfilling Specifications
Due to the nature of BCMS and how loads are carried through the structure, the implementation of
an effective compaction process is essential to ensure that the design performance is achieved.
Incorrect compacting and soil type may result in insufficient stiffness within the backfill. This
stiffness is essential in preventing the pipe from bulging when loads travel over the top of the
structure.
3.4.1 Material Selection
Material selection should be in line with the manufacturers specifications, appropriate standards
and the local availability of material for procurement.
As a general guideline the ideal backfill is a well graded granular material. Care, however, should
be taken if a site encounters a very fine natural material in conjunction with a high groundwater
table. This situation is conducive to scouring and piping as a result of the moving water. The
infiltration of the surrounding material into the side fill may also result in a loss of structural stability.
These occurrences may be reduced by separating the areas with the use of a geotextile fabric.
Other materials which should be avoided in backfilling operations are:
large rocks or lumps that will not pass through a 75 mm sieve
vegetation
shale, slate, clay and peat black soils as they tend to be unstable
ferrous sulphate, salts or any other substances which may be corrosive
soils with an excessive moisture content, which may hinder compaction to appropriate dry
density.
Crushed sandstone with a pH between 5 and 10 is the preferable backfill material.
AS/NZS 2041 (1998) suggests the select fill requirements as seen in Table 3.2, with a maximum
linear shrinkage of 8%. The silt and clay component should have a maximum liquid limit of 30%.
When released the draft AS/NZS 2041.2 standard should be consulted for revised/additional
information.
Table 3.2: Select fill requirements
Sieve aperture
(mm)
Mass of sample passing
(%)
53 100
9.5 50 to 100
2.36 30 to 100
0.075 0 to 25
Source: AS/NZS 2041 (1998).

Other materials may be approved if they have a consistency and moisture content which still allows
compaction to the specified density. The other exception is in trench installations, or where free
draining fill is required, as both of these situations may allow for the use of a single sized granular
material.
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Flowable or cement modified fill may also be utilised in backfill operations as a replacement for
select fill. The fill should meet appropriate strength requirements of 0.6 to 3 MPa (28 days) and a
modulus of 25 to 100 MPa. The definition of flowable fill can be found in Appendix H of
AS/NZS 2041 (1998).
The draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) specifies the following soil types as select fill materials in
accordance with AS 1726 (1993):
1 Importance Level 1 soil classifications GW, GP, SW, SP, GC, SC, SM (Groups I and II)
2 Importance Level 2, where the span does not exceed 3000 mm soil classifications GW,
GP, SW, SP, GC, SC, SM (Groups I and II)
3 All other structures soil classifications GW, GP, SW, Sp only (Group I only).
3.4.2 Compaction Process and Equipment
Compaction process
Although the processes are similar for different types of BCMS, specifications within the standards
do vary. The manufacturers specifications should also be consulted for the recommended
compaction process.
The process should start with compaction of fill material (select fill or natural soil) up to the haunch
at the five and seven oclock locations. It is essential that this area is compacted correctly despite
the awkwardness of the location. Pneumatic compactors and other hand equipment, which are
light and easy to manoeuvre, are preferred tools for the compaction around these areas. The use
of granular fill material is ideal as it provides ease of compaction under the limitations compared to
a clayey fill.
To prevent overloading on one side, the height difference of the compacted backfill on both sides
should be kept to a minimum. Each layer of compacted fill should be placed evenly on each side,
with a maximum height difference at any one time of 300 mm recommended. When released the
draft AS/NZS 2041.2 standard should be consulted for revised/additional recommendations.
The fill material should be placed in horizontal, uniform layers, with the maximum height of each
layer of fill allowable varying slightly depending on the standard. The recommendations are as
follows:
helical lock-seam pipes (AS 1762-1984), each layer should be no more than 150 mm deep
when compacted
long span corrugated steel structures (AS 3703.2-1989), each layer should be no more than
200 mm deep before compaction
all other buried corrugated metal structures (AS/ NZS 2041-1998); each layer should be no
more than 300 mm deep before compaction.
When the draft AS/NZS 2041 standard is released reference needs to be made to this code for
layer depths.
Care should be taken when compacting along the side of the BCMS. It is important to ensure that
there is no major change to the horizontal diameter of the structure. Horizontal props may need to
be incorporated to help reduce the possibility of distortion.
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The top third of the structure requires a great deal of care as the final layers of material are
compacted. Lighter and more controllable equipment may need to be used as it is in this stage
where the vertical diameter will decrease, leading to an increase in the horizontal diameter as the
structure goes into ring compression. The structure should be monitored for excessive
deformation. Vertical supports may need to be incorporated during this stage to limit deflection.
The plumb-bob method is an effective way of monitoring the deformation. This is achieved by
suspending the plumb-bob from the shoulder position (2, 10, and 12 oclock) prior to backfilling, so
that the points of the bobs are a specific distance from a marked point on the invert as shown in
Figure 3.7.

Source: CSPI (2007).
Figure 3.7: Backfilling with plum-bob monitoring
Other important factors which should be considered within the compaction process are:
Compaction of fill material by pudding or jetting is not recommended.
Correct and careful tamping of the backfill is important to achieve the required quality of the
compaction.
Moving construction equipment that is delivering material should travel parallel to the pipe
rather than at right angles.
Compaction along the long side of the BCMS is dependent on whether or not the structure
has restraining headwalls. If the structure does have headwalls the compaction process
should begin at either side of the headwalls and move inwards. If, however, the structure
does not have headwalls the compaction process should start at the centre of the structure
and move outward.
Compaction equipment
The following compaction equipment is recommended as required in AS 1762 (1984):
Hand equipment is essential for tampering under the haunches of the structure, and other
small areas. It should preferably not weigh less than 10 kg and have a tamping face not
larger than 150 mm x 150 mm.
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Mechanical tampers are usually satisfactory in most areas, except for the confined spaces.
They should, however, be used carefully and completely over the entire area at each layer to
obtain the desired compaction. Striking the structure with tamping tools should be avoided.
Tamping rollers, such as sheeps-foot and rubber-tyred rollers may be used to compact the
backfill if space permits. If these rollers are used, the backfill adjacent to the structure should
be stamped with hand or hand-held power equipment.
Vibrating compactors may be used to compact granular backfills.
When released the draft AS/NZS 2041.2 standard should be consulted.
3.5 Construction Loads
During the construction process it is important to consider the impact of construction equipment on
the BCMS. As the backfill has only just been installed, it generally has not had time to fully
consolidate and therefore reach maximum strength. In addition to this, the heavy construction
equipment may impart loads well in excess of the structures designed service loads. If heavy
equipment needs to travel across the BCMS, the structural capability under this new load should
be checked. If the current structure is unsuitable for this increased loading, temporary additional
cover should be installed.
Only light compaction equipment should be used above the structure until the cover is equal to
0.6 m. Heavy machinery should not travel on the structure or proceed past the face of the
continuous longitudinal stiffeners (long-span) until at least 0.6 m has been placed and compacted.

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4 STRUCTURAL MANAGEMENT AND INSPECTION OF
BCMS
4.1 Structure Management Planning
BCMS are high risk structures due to the high corrosion potential. This usually occurs in the invert
which is critical for the structural stability of the structure. Due to the potential seriousness of a
complete failure or washout, inspections of buried corrugated metal pipes are critical to the safe
and effective management of these higher risk structures.
All structures that are 1200 mm or greater should be part of a typical bridge/culvert inspection
program. BCMS smaller than 1200 mm should also be considered due to the potential of washout;
however, inspections of culverts smaller than 1200 mm become problematic due to the inability to
get inside the culvert for inspection purposes.
When culverts are located in medium/high risk situations (environmental hazards are significant or
the consequences of failure are significant), then a structural management plan should be
developed as part of the initial design and planning of a project. This should include a full program
of inspection and monitoring (non-destructive evaluation to measure loss of steel plate section) to
effectively manage the sacrificial plate thickness of the culvert and any other aspects that may be
critical to the useful life of the culvert.
With an appropriate management plan in place it is possible to optimise the materials and
processes. For example, the invert can be effectively managed to maximise the life of this critical
element. Through the initial period the structure evaluation team responsible for the
implementation of the structural management strategy will undertake the prescribed inspections
and monitoring to determine the rate of decay of the sacrificial material in the invert. This can then
be compared to initial design assumptions. Using this information the rate of deterioration can be
used to estimate the likely time that the sacrificial thickness will be consumed. The structural
management plan can then be adjusted accordingly. For instance, the structural management plan
may call for the invert to be concrete lined at a certain date to maximise the use of material. The
monitoring and inspection plan will provide the information to update the plan by providing more
realistic dates for such action based on the actual performance of the culvert.
Structural management plans should have the following considerations and information:
design assumptions used in the initial design
requirements for initial commissioning/handover inspection. This should include a
geometrical survey to assess and deformations etc. that have occurred during the
construction phase. This also serves as a baseline for future measurements and
management
required Level 1 and Level 2 inspection frequencies and methodology
review action dates
proposed maintenance/repair dates, e.g. invert lining
feedback loop to evaluate the maintenance/repair dates based on the inspection information
feedback loop to the design of new culverts to provide experience in design assumptions.
If suitable structural management plans are implemented, the Level 3 inspections and risk
management strategies described later in this section should not be required.
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4.2 Workplace Health and Safety
Once a structure is less than 1800 mm in height, it needs to be considered as a confined space. If
the structure is longer than 20 m, confined space protocols should also be considered.
Typically, for entry into a confined space an inspector needs:
appropriate training and a ticket indicating competence from a certified trainer
two or more people present on the site with only one in the BCMS at a time
consideration of the use of a safety line to prevent the rescuer from being affected
a gas detection meter.
Meters should be calibrated according to manufacturers recommendations and need to be
challenged before each typical entry. Challenge kits consisting of the typical dangerous gases are
available from the manufacturer. The challenge kit allows the meter to be checked ensuring that it
effectively detects critical gases.
If on initial entry the structure is found to be in poor condition with considerable corrosion that has
the potential to affect the stability of the structure, the inspection should cease until the structure is
inspected and assessed by a certified structural engineer to be safe to enter. If it is deemed unsafe
to enter, all work to develop a remedial strategy must be done outside the structure until suitable
safety measures are put in place, such as propping.
4.3 Level 2 Structural Inspections: Defect Identification
Typical defects that affect BCMS include joint defects, invert deterioration, corrosion, shape
distortion and soil migration. The cause of the defect can be a result of the construction process,
in-service loading or environmental conditions. These defects should be identified as part of a
Level 2 structural inspection. The following points explain the most common defects:
(a) Helical structure
The most common problems associated with helical steel joints are misalignment, water
exfiltration, backfill infiltration and joint separation.
Misalignment of the joints may be a sign of settlement in the supporting soil structure. This
settlement may have occurred during construction and stabilisation. The more serious
problem is if progressive settlement is continuing to occur while in-service. Misalignment can
also lead to undermining of the BCMS, water exfiltration or infiltration of backfill material.
Exfiltration occurs when leaking joints allow water flowing through the culvert to leak into the
supporting material. Exfiltration can result in piping where supporting soil material is easily
eroded.
Infiltration is the opposite problem to exfiltration and occurs where water from the backfill
material is seeping through the culvert joints. Infiltration can cause settlement and
misalignment problems if the water carries fine-grained soil particles from the backfill
material.
J oint separation may also occur due to external loads and changing soil conditions and this
allows backfill infiltration and water exfiltration.
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(b) Bolt defects
J oint defects for multi-plate structures occur at the bolt lines typically from construction
damage. The bolt lines are weaker than the plate itself, and some construction specifications
call for the joint to be offset in each ring to avoid a line of weakness. If this was not done, the
backfilling operation could put high bending moments on the bolted joint lines, causing local
cracking in the plates where excessive tension occurs (Figure 4.1).
This is a defect that should be avoided in construction; however, once the BCMS is
completed and backfilled, the cracked joint should go into compression and not be a
long-term failure initiator.
It is essential, though, that the cause of such defects be determined. If they are due to
continuing vertical loading they may indicate the start of structural failure.

Figure 4.1: Cracks in metal plate probably caused by excessive side pressures during backfill
(c) Invert deterioration
Invert deterioration is usually due to a combination of corrosion and abrasion. Once the
galvanising layer is abraded from material carried by the flow of the water, corrosion then
attacks the bare steel and is accelerated by further abrasion that constantly removes the
protective oxide layer formed by corrosion. The continuation of this action will ultimately lead
to the loss of the invert and the creation of scour holes under the BCMS. Continued
deterioration could result in the complete washout of the structure. It should be noted that the
progression of scour holes to full washout can occur in a matter of minutes.
For BCMS to withstand significant fill loads and heavy repetitive live loads, an effective soil
structure interaction is necessary. This composite behaviour uses the compressive strength
of the structure wall, with the compressive or bearing strength of the well-compacted soil
surrounding the structure. As loads are applied to the structure, the flexible structure attempts
to deflect, with the vertical diameter decreasing and the horizontal diameter increasing. The
change in horizontal diameter is resisted by the lateral soil pressure and results in the
relatively uniform radial pressure around the structure that creates a compressive thrust in
the structure walls, hence ring compression theory can be assumed (Conn DOT 2000).
As described in Section 2.1 the metal structure behaviour is reliant on uniform radial pressure
around the pipe, and loss of the invert may result in severe distortion and collapse of the
BCMS.
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(d) Corrosion
Corrosion of the BCMS can ultimately cause failure by reducing the material thickness. This
can occur at the invert level due to the removal of the galvanising through abrasion and
standing water, or on the external face of the metal structure from chloride or sulphate attack
due to the content of the backfill material. As the external face of the metal structure is not
visible, the determination of metal thickness is important to establish the aggressiveness of
the environment and the necessary repairs. This can be undertaken using destructive
methods (hole drilling) or non-destructive methods such as ultrasonics. If holes are drilled as
part of testing program, each hole must be fitted with a galvanised screw.
(e) Shape distortion
The construction process for BCMS requires care and attention to the backfilling procedure.
During construction, metal structures are flexible and will distort if excessive earth pressure or
construction loads are applied. In extreme cases, the metal structures can collapse or be
severely distorted during construction (Figure 4.2).
In assessing a BCMS in-service, it is essential to consider the cause of any distortion
(out-of-roundness). Construction damage should be assessed separately to overloading,
distortions or soil movements under current service conditions. Significant distortions
occurring during construction should be recorded in construction files or earlier inspection
reports. Unfortunately, construction records may be difficult to access after several decades.
Determining when damage occurred may require structural engineering advice.
As part of a structural management plan, a geometry survey plan should be undertaken as
part of a commissioning inspection undertaken by the team responsible for future inspection
and management of the culvert.

Source: TMR (2010).
Figure 4.2: New culvert damaged at joint during backfill, probably due to construction overload
(f) Soil migration
Soil migration occurs when there is a loss of backfill support due to water eroding fine
material from the trench side walls. For migration to occur the backfill material must be
erodible and there must be a flow path for the water. Due to the fact that granular material is
typically used as BCMS bedding, any perforation of the structure by corrosion can lead to
floodwater washing the bedding sand out. Any significant flow of water behind the metal
structure can lead to severe loss of backfill followed by embankment collapse, so repairs to
structure perforations should be undertaken as quickly as possible before the next wet
season.
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(g) Crimping of the wall (CSPI 2007)
Crimping is local bucking of the shell into a large number of waves, each of relatively small
length. It predominately occurs in the compression zone of the wall where the culvert
undergoes large bending deformations. This type of crimping usually takes place in culvert
wall segments of relatively small radius of curvature. It indicates that the soil behind the
segment is not dense enough to prevent excessive bending deformations. Crimping can also
occur throughout an entire culvert wall section subject to excessive thrust while being
supported by a very well compacted backfill. This situation is rare but can occur in culverts
built on relatively yielding foundations. In this instance the long-term foundation settlement is
thought to induce negative arching thus subjecting the wall to greater thrust loads than
assumed in design, resulting in buckling of the wall.
(h) Distortion of bevelled ends (CSPI 2007)
Bevelled ends are particularly vulnerable to damage by horizontal pressures due to the
inability to develop ring compressions. They are also vulnerable to heavy pieces of
equipment falling on them or impact from debris.
(i) Excessive silt build-up
Excessive silt can result in reduced flow volumes through the culvert and provides a medium
to ensure that moisture remains in contact with the metal structure for longer periods of time.
This results in accelerated corrosion of the culvert invert. Such build-ups need to be removed
as part of ongoing maintenance and assessments need to be made as to why it is occurring.
It might be the sign of a more pressing problem. Mitigation strategies should also be
suggested.
(j) Surrounding soil condition
Erosion and undermining of the culvert need to be identified including the condition of the
various forms of end treatments.
4.4 Level 2 Structural Inspections: Condition States
The following is an extract from the Bridge Inspection Manual (VicRoads 2004). It provides suitable
descriptions for the various condition states.
The following condition states apply to all steel pipes, painted or galvanised,
circular, elongated or elliptical.
Condition state 1. There is no evidence of rust or corrosion and the paintwork or
galvanising is in good condition. The line and invert of the pipe is straight with no
water being retained in the pipe.
Condition state 2. Surface or spot rusting may be evident and the paint system is
no longer effective. There is no corrosion of the metal occurring. The line of the
pipe is straight, but minor settlement may be allowing some water to be retained in
the pipe.
Condition state 3. The paint system has failed and pitting corrosion is prominent
especially at normal water level. Loss of section has occurred but there is still
adequate section left to not affect serviceability of the pipe. There may be some
deviation of the line of the pipes due to local buckling, or moderate settlement of
the pipe may be allowing a significant amount of water to be retained in the pipe.
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Condition state 4. Heavy corrosion is occurring and the invert of the pipe may
have corroded out in areas. There may be large deviation of line of the pipe due to
buckling of plates or plates may have crinkled at the bolt line in large diameter
pipes. An excessive amount of water may be retained in the pipe. Bolts may have
torn through the plates or split the plate edges allowing differential movement and
buckling of plates.
Condition state 5. Immediate closure failure is imminent.
4.5 Level 3 Structural Inspections: Information Collection
Level 3 structural inspections are typically undertaken when a Level 2 inspection has identified
components that are in a condition state 3 or 4 and a structural inspection is needed to assess:
safety of the structure
causes of stability issues
repair methods
replacement.
When inspecting BCMS on site, the following information should be collected to aid in selecting a
suitable repair method and the design process:
BCMS type (multi-plate/helical)
size and shape
corrugation (pitch x depth)
height of fill material (m)
material thickness (galvanising and base metal)
extent of corrosion (invert/full height)
maximum outside diameter (if relining)
voids present in fill
estimated maximum sag in pipe due to settlement
waterway description (is BCMS in standing water?)
environmental conditions (e.g. marine environment, local factors e.g. cow sheds upstream)
water/soil samples (to assist with durability design)
other defects and cause (construction/in-service)
sketches.
4.5.1 Type of BCMS
There are two main types of metal structures multi-plate or helical corrugated.
Multi-plate structures
These structures are constructed by hand bolting a number of circular plate segments together to
form a ring (Figure 4.3). Metal thickness is 45 mm or more.
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Source: TMR nd a.
Figure 4.3: Multi-plate culvert
Helical corrugated structures
These structures are helically wound by machinery which decreases installation time (Figure 4.4).
Metal thickness is typically thinner than for plate structures, and is typically 3 mm or less. They are
therefore more susceptible to corrosion and to distortion during backfilling operations.

Source: TMR nd a.
Figure 4.4: Helically wound culvert
4.5.2 Size and Shape
To determine the shape, mark 1 m square grid with spots of paint on a side wall starting at the
upstream end. Measure and record the horizontal and vertical diameter at 10 or more points to
determine its shape. If there are particular defects such as open joints, extra diameters should be
measured. Typically the size and shape are of particular importance when assessing the maximum
diameter of the pipe that can be inserted for relining purposes.
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4.5.3 Corrugations Pitch and Depth
The pitch (P) and depth (D) of corrugations should be measured at a few places to determine
which shape was used in the BCMS. Figure 4.5 details the standard corrugation dimensions in
mm.

Source: AS 1762 (1984).
Figure 4.5: Corrugation profile for steel pipes
Additionally, non-sinusoidal corrugations may be present and the shape of these corrugations
should be recorded or obtained from the manufacturer.
4.5.4 Height of Fill Material
Measure the height of fill material above the BCMS, as this information may be required to
determine the suitable repairs and in the design process for determining the earth/vehicle loads.
4.5.5 Material Thickness
Where an edge piece can be found at the ends or joints, measure the thickness using a
micrometre or other thickness gauge to an accuracy of 0.1 mm. If this can be measured at a
relatively clean corrosion-free point, it will indicate the original thickness. A non-destructive
thickness gauge is useful in measuring residual metal when extensive corrosion is obvious. It is
important to determine whether sufficient metal thickness is left in the bulk of the BCMS to justify a
repair, even if the invert is seriously corroded. If metal thickness measurements indicate severe
corrosion on the outside of the structure, a concrete invert repair is not a suitable treatment.
4.5.6 Maximum Outside Diameter
If relining is a possible repair method, then measure the straightness of the structure with string
lines, or with appropriate levelling equipment (Section 5.2.7). The straightness of the structure will
determine the largest possible diameter that will fit through the entire BCMS length.
4.5.7 Voids Present in Fill
If the BCMS has been perforated by corrosion, typically by standing water in the invert, then some
of the granular backfill around the structure may have been flushed out in flood flows. Determine
this by first tapping around the structure, starting from near the invert where a void is most likely. If
voids are detected, then paint a line between the hollow and solid sounding sections and map
them using the structure dimension grid. The depth of cavities can be checked by drilling small
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holes and measuring the depth of the void. Holes should be sealed with an appropriate galvanised
screw.
4.5.8 Estimated Maximum Sag in Pipe due to Settlement
This can be achieved using the methods similar to that described in Section 5.2.7.
4.5.9 Waterway Description
A general description of the upstream and downstream waterways needs to be made particularly
noting the presence of standing water, presence of scour, relative gradients before and after, any
pollution or other factors that may affect water aggressiveness and typical sediment size and
properties.
4.5.10 Environmental Conditions
The environmental conditions need to be assessed to determine the potential for corrosion e.g.
marine environment. Additional local factors should also be considered such as proximity to farm
areas e.g. cow sheds upstream.
4.5.11 Water/Soil Samples
The chemical make-up of the water needs to be assessed to assist with the durability assessment
of proposed retrofit or re-design. The required tests are presented in detail in Section 2.6.3.
4.5.12 Other Defects and Cause (Construction/In-service)
As identified in Section 4.3.
4.5.13 Sketches
A sketch containing summary information of the investigation can also be useful to record defect
locations.
4.6 Risk Assessment Method and Treatment Action
Level 2 structure inspections will identify structures in poor condition (condition states 3 and 4). A
risk assessment should be conducted on these structures and a treatment plan with appropriate
action timeframes developed. Note that if an appropriate structural management plan has been in
place for a structure through its life then this risk assessment approach should not be necessary.
Figure 4.6 presents a flowchart of the overall process to determine the risk level for a given
situation and appropriate treatment timeframes. The following section on risk is based upon the
information found in TMR nd a.
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Identify
Metal Culvert
Gather Basic Information
- Culvert Type
- Size and Shape
- Corrugations
- Height of Fill
- Material Thickness
- Extent of Corrosion
- Max possible OD (if relining)
- Voids Present in Fill
- Other Defects
Determine Typical Situation
Situation 1
- Standing water
in culvert
Situation 3
- Considerable level
of corrosion in the invert
- Small holes appearing
Situation 4
- Culvert Invert rusted
through in large sections.
- Culvert remaining circular
-No significant flows
- Constant HV traffic volume
Situation 6
- Culvert invert rusted
through in large sections.
- Culvert ring movement evident
-No road surface settlement
Situation 2
- Corrosion appearing
in the invert
- Substantial metal
thickness remains
Treatment
- Allow culvert to drain
- Assess culvert condition
when dry
Treatment
- Plan to install concrete invert
or paint system
- Repair within 2 years
Treatment
- Inspect culvert after rain for erosion
of back fill through invert perforations
- Install concrete invert within 1 year
Medium
Risk
Unknown
Risk
Very Low
Risk
Low
Risk
High
Risk
Extreme
Risk
Very High
Risk
Treatment
-Prop and repair ASAP
-Check road surface levels fortnightly, after
short or during long rainfall events
-Speed restriction and hazard signs
Treatment
- Prop and repair ASAP
- Check road surface levels weekly, after
short or during long rainfall events
- Speed restriction and hazard signs
Treatment
- Prop immediately
-Repair urgently
- Speed restriction and hazard signs
Treatment
- Close road immediately
- Repair urgently
Situation 5
- Culvert Invert rusted
through in large sections.
- Culvert remaining circular
-Local flooding occurs
-HV traffic volume increases
Situation 7
- Culvert invert rusted
through in large sections.
- Culvert ring movement evident
-Road surface settlement
Identify
Metal Culvert
Gather Basic Information
- Culvert Type
- Size and Shape
- Corrugations
- Height of Fill
- Material Thickness
- Extent of Corrosion
- Max possible OD (if relining)
- Voids Present in Fill
- Other Defects
Determine Typical Situation
Situation 1
- Standing water
in culvert
Situation 3
- Considerable level
of corrosion in the invert
- Small holes appearing
Situation 4
- Culvert Invert rusted
through in large sections.
- Culvert remaining circular
-No significant flows
- Constant HV traffic volume
Situation 6
- Culvert invert rusted
through in large sections.
- Culvert ring movement evident
-No road surface settlement
Situation 2
- Corrosion appearing
in the invert
- Substantial metal
thickness remains
Treatment
- Allow culvert to drain
- Assess culvert condition
when dry
Treatment
- Plan to install concrete invert
or paint system
- Repair within 2 years
Treatment
- Inspect culvert after rain for erosion
of back fill through invert perforations
- Install concrete invert within 1 year
Medium
Risk
Unknown
Risk
Very Low
Risk
Low
Risk
High
Risk
Extreme
Risk
Very High
Risk
Treatment
-Prop and repair ASAP
-Check road surface levels fortnightly, after
short or during long rainfall events
-Speed restriction and hazard signs
Treatment
- Prop and repair ASAP
- Check road surface levels weekly, after
short or during long rainfall events
- Speed restriction and hazard signs
Treatment
- Prop immediately
-Repair urgently
- Speed restriction and hazard signs
Treatment
- Close road immediately
- Repair urgently
Situation 5
- Culvert Invert rusted
through in large sections.
- Culvert remaining circular
-Local flooding occurs
-HV traffic volume increases
Situation 7
- Culvert invert rusted
through in large sections.
- Culvert ring movement evident
-Road surface settlement

Source: TMR nd a.
Figure 4.6: Flowchart for risk assessment and treatment
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Sections 4.6.1 to Section 4.6.7 illustrate these situations with detailed descriptions of typical
conditions that will be encountered when inspecting metal structures and an indication of the
Level 2 inspection conditions state, along with a risk ranking (depending on a number of factors)
and the action required to ensure the protection of the asset and the public.
Figure 4.6 applies primarily to buried corrugated metal pipes. Buried corrugated metal arches
should be considered in a similar way to the management of the rest of the authoritys bridge stock.
Similarly, if the structure is a pipe but carries no water flow it too could be considered in a similar
way to the typical bridge stocks.
4.6.1 Situation 1
Unknown risk condition
standing water in the BCMS, typically caused by a blockage on the downstream end
(Figure 4.7)
structure will rapidly corrode and it is difficult to inspect its condition. A decision must be
made quickly on how to make the BCMS durable, easy to inspect and safe.
Immediate treatment
Survey downstream levels and consult the land owner. If practical, cut a low flow channel that will
allow the BCMS to drain. If a blockage is caused by cattle or vehicles pushing the bank into the
stream bed, negotiate a preventative strategy such as:
constructing an alternate crossing further downstream
installing a low flow pipe under a low-level concrete ford
putting up a fence around the stream for sufficient length to maintain exit drainage.
Hydraulics specialists can be consulted if there are concerns regarding this.
Later treatment
assess BCMS when clean and dry to determine whether additional repairs are needed
check BCMS after each wet season to ensure they remain self draining.
Note: If a BCMS has deep standing water and downstream surveys show it is not practical to drain
the BCMS, the owner must be informed and a management plan developed.
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Source: TMR nd a.
Figure 4.7: Standing water in BCMS
4.6.2 Situation 2
Very low risk condition
significant corrosion appearing in the invert of the BCMS, but substantial thickness of metal
remains (Figure 4.8)
BCMS is retaining circular shape or may have distorted during construction process but is
remaining stable
the BCMS is assessed as being condition state 3.
Treatment
monitor BCMS annually
plan to install a concrete invert or use a paint system, while the BCMS still has adequate
metal in the invert and before the structure perforates due to corrosion
complete repairs within 2 years.
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Source: TMR nd a.
Figure 4.8: BCMS has significant invert corrosion and will need a reinforced concrete invert in the next 2 years
4.6.3 Situation 3
Low risk condition
considerable level of corrosion in the invert and small holes appearing in the invert of the
BCMS (Figure 4.9 and Figure 4.10)
no evidence of material loss from soil behind the BCMS and no soil cavities evident
BCMS is retaining circular shape or may have distorted during construction but is remaining
stable
BCMS is assessed as being condition state 4.
Treatment
monitor and plan for installation of a concrete lining of the invert within the next 12 months. If
corrosion extends above the level where it is practical to install a concrete invert consider
relining
after a significant rainfall event, check the BCMS for erosion of backfill material through the
invert perforations
repairs should be carried out within 1 year.
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Source: TMR nd a.
Figure 4.9: Heavy corrosion in invert with small perforations to metal structure

Source: TMR nd a.
Figure 4.10: Heavy corrosion considerable loss of metal thickness
4.6.4 Situation 4
Medium risk condition
BCMS invert rusted completely through over a large portion of the length
loss of backfill material below invert
BCMS is retaining circular shape (loads are being carried by soil arch) or may have distorted
during construction but is remaining stable
BCMS has no significant flows
heavy vehicle traffic loading remains constant.
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Treatment
prop immediately and repair as soon as possible within two months or before the next wet
season starts
check BCMS and pavement levels fortnightly, after short rainfall events and during extended
rainfall periods for any signs of ring compression failure or settlement of the soil arch over the
BCMS
put speed restrictions and hazard identification signage in place to ensure adequate stopping
sight distance, should a hazard develop.
Safety
if a dip in the pavement occurs the road is to be closed immediately.
4.6.5 Situation 5
High risk condition
BCMS invert rusted completely through over a large portion of the length
loss of backfill material below the invert (Figure 4.11)
BCMS is retaining circular shape (loads are being carried by soil arch) or may have distorted
during construction process but is remaining stable (see notes in Section 4.3)
local flooding event occurs creating the risk that the BCMS and embankment could be
washed out
heavy vehicle traffic loading increases.
Treatment
BCMS must be repaired as soon as practical (within one month)
props should be installed immediately
BCMS and pavement surface should be checked weekly, after short rainfall events and
during extended rainfall periods for any signs of ring compression failure or dips in the
pavement caused by soil arch settlement
if replacement is determined to be the most appropriate repair method and the replacement
BCMS cannot be obtained immediately from the manufacturer alternative options that may
be considered are:
temporarily replacing the BCMS with a readily available low flow reinforced concrete
pipe. The low flow pipe can then be replaced with the appropriately sized pipe when it
is available from the manufacturer
completing the works under full road closure if sidetracks or diversions are an issue
backfilling with concrete can be undertaken if necessary to decrease the time required
for installation if the road is not available for extended closure
put speed restrictions and hazard identification signage in place to ensure adequate stopping
sight distance, should a hazard develop.
Safety
if a dip in the pavement occurs the road is to be closed immediately.
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Note: The helical lock seams have not distorted and BCMS remains circular with no evidence of ring compression failure.
Source: TMR nd a.
Figure 4.11: BCMS invert corroded away (loss of granular bedding material in invert)
4.6.6 Situation 6
Very high risk condition
BCMS invert rusted through over large portion of the length
compression ring movement is obvious (metal has buckled or is overlapping), but soil arch is
mostly intact (Figure 4.12)
voids possibly present behind BCMS lining but no dip in road
BCMS structure has failed, embankment soil arch at high risk of imminent failure (condition
state 5 close structure)
no visible settlement of road pavement over BCMS.
Treatment
inform the owner immediately
seek structural engineering advice send photos of BCMS
prop the BCMS immediately if safe to do so
put speed restrictions and hazard identification signage in place to ensure adequate stopping
sight distance, should a hazard develop
undertake urgent repairs.
Safety
BCMS is structurally unsafe and can fail under heavy traffic loading or in a flood due to
embankment erosion
if a dip in the pavement occurs the road is to be closed immediately.
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4.6.7 Situation 7
Extreme risk condition
BCMS invert rusted through over large portion of the length
compression ring movement is obvious (metal has buckled or is overlapping) but soil arch is
mostly intact (Figure 4.12)
voids possibly present behind BCMS lining but no dip in road
condition state 5 close structure, BCMS structure has failed, embankment soil arch at high
risk of imminent failure
road pavement above BCMS shows obvious signs of settlement (Figure 4.13).
Treatment
as given for Situation 6 very high risk.
Safety
BCMS has structurally failed
road is to be closed immediately.








Source: TMR (2010).
Figure 4.12: BCMS ring movement
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Source: TMR (2010).
Figure 4.13: BCMS soil arch failure
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5 MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR PROCEDURES
5.1 Emergency Propping
Install emergency propping for immediate temporary stabilisation of the structure when safety
issues become evident. Propping of the BCMS can only slow the complete collapse of the
structure and there is still a future risk to the travelling public if a failure is allowed to occur. Since
most conditions that require propping are caused by excessive corrosion of the invert, vertical
propping is often not an option. However, propping at 45 degrees (Figure 5.1) can be effective.
For safety, 6 mm self-tapping screws can be inserted in the BCMS to hold timber spreader beams
with heavy wire ties until the props are installed. Each sleeper should have a minimum of two
props. Timber sleepers should be used to distribute the load from the props across numerous
BCMS corrugations. The timber sleepers will be held in place against the wall by friction, but a
suitable connection of the props to the sleepers should be considered to prevent the props from
being washed out. Seek advice from a qualified structural engineer for the required safe working
load and arrangement of the props.

Note: This culvert had not failed and props were installed pending a full structural assessment.
Figure 5.1: Example of emergency propping
An appropriate installation method, taking into consideration all applicable safety risks, and which
ensures that no disturbance of the culvert walls occurs, would need to be developed prior to
installing props.
5.2 Repair Methods
The following are a range of repair treatments that should be considered, taking into account:
remaining life of the non-corroded portion of the culvert
durability and expected service life of the repair
size of embankment over culvert
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traffic volumes
water flow
ability to detour traffic
cost.
The products and methods detailed in the repair methods should be sourced from reputable
suppliers.
5.2.1 Repair and Maintenance Methods
The condition of the BCMS determines the appropriate rehabilitation or maintenance method
required. Preventative maintenance measures are recommended either at construction or during
its service life. Two common methods of preventative maintenance are concrete lining of the invert
(Section 5.2.2) and/or a paint membrane that will prevent internal rusting (Section 5.2.3). Both of
these methods are dependent on the inverts being of sound condition with no rust evident.
5.2.2 Concrete Lining of Invert
This is the most common repair for larger culverts with sufficient working space and high
embankments where it is difficult to remove the culvert.
The concrete lining of culverts can be either reactive maintenance or planned maintenance.
Ideally, concrete lining is used as part of a structural management plan to optimise the life of a
structure through careful management of the sacrificial metal thickness in the invert. Once the
sacrificial thickness is used up the invert is lined to protect the remaining required structure
thickness in the invert. In a reactive situation the invert may be seriously deteriorated and in these
instances invert lining can be used as a reactive approach to extend the life of a culvert.
When using this treatment it is essential that the concrete invert liner forms a structural bond with
the uncorroded metal above the invert. Thin layers of concrete that are not structurally fixed to the
metal culvert are not effective repairs, as shown in Figure 5.2. Voids that may be present beneath
the invert or in the backfill material will need to be grouted.
The rest of the metal culvert (excluding the corroded invert) must be in a reasonable condition. The
inside face should have adequate remaining galvanising metal. The thickness should be checked
with a non-destructive thickness gauge or by drilling a small number of holes and checking with a
thickness gauge reading to 0.2 mm or better, and holes must be plugged with a galvanised screw
afterwards.
Where there are significant concerns regarding collapse due to the invert being corroded out, it is
often not safe to enter the culvert to prop it. In this situation the invert lining can be conducted in a
progressive manner by the following procedure:
Starting at one end, use curved plate or reinforcing bars welded to the shell at sufficient
centres to reinstate the hoop capacity of the section. Only a small length is repaired at a
time.
Once the appropriate reinforcement has been installed, the lining section under consideration
is poured. It is important that the reinforcement has appropriate cover, therefore the hoop
strengthening should not be considered as reinforcement.
This process is then continued in section lengths deemed appropriate to ensure safety.
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If there is significant thickness loss due to corrosion of the external face of the culvert, a concrete
invert may not be effective as a long-term repair and relining should be considered.

Figure 5.2: A thin concrete invert lining which has separated from the culvert and washed away in flood
VicRoads specifies the following for concrete linings (VicRoads 2009):
The minimum thickness of concrete lining shall be 130 mm above the crest of corrugations.
The minimum height of lining shall be normal water level plus 300 mm or one-third height of
the structure, whichever is greater.
Top edges of concrete lining shall slope towards the centreline of the structure to prevent
ponding of water against the wall of the structure.
At both ends of the structure the concrete invert lining shall terminate with a 900 mm deep
reinforced concrete cut-off wall. The cut-off wall depth shall be measured below the finished
invert level, and the wall shall be detailed to connect to the reinforced concrete headwall if
this is present.
Concrete for the lining shall be special class performance concrete having a grade not less
than VR 330/32 as specified in VicRoads (1997).
The concrete lining shall be reinforced with a steel fabric having a minimum steel area of
500 mm
2
/m in both directions and mesh dimensions not greater than 200 mm and bar size
not less than 8 mm.
Cover to the mesh at the edges of the concrete lining shall be not less than 50 mm and not
more than 100 mm. Minimum cover shall be 50 mm to all other faces, including to the crest
of the BCMS corrugations.
For steel BCMS, reinforcement in the concrete lining shall be lapped and welded for
electrical conductivity and supported by steel bars welded or bolted to the structure at 1.0 m
maximum spacing in both directions.
The following steps are recommended for preparation of an existing BCMS for concrete lining. This
information has been extracted from the Bridge Technical Note 2005/009, (VicRoads 2009):
temporarily divert water flow
remove sediment in culvert
pressure wash to remove sediment and debris
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abrasive sweep blast area to be lined to equivalent to class 1 finish to AS 1627.9 (2002)
for steel BCMS, paint penetrating primer 50 microns DFT over area to be lined using Xymax
MonoLock PP, Wasser MC-Prebond, Zinga or other approved equivalent
for aluminium BCMS, paint with an approved bitumastic coating.
Advantages
concrete can be applied in situ
cement mortar linings have been found to dramatically reduce internal corrosion
abrasion forces on the BCMS are reduced
the afflux can be controlled by using more/larger rock baffles
depressions can be made in the concrete layer to allow rest areas for fish and marine
animals
increased service life of the BCMS
safe progressive methods can be used
it is a low-cost repair method.
Disadvantages
BCMS under 900 mm in diameter have restricted access for personnel to lay the concrete
approach and departure aprons will need to be raised or constructed to maintain inflows and
outflows
the diameter of the BCMS will be reduced.
5.2.3 Painting the Invert
This repair method can be used where the culvert is not extensively corroded and significant metal
thickness remains. The type of paint system used will depend on the abrasive conditions the
culvert is subject to. If a significant volume of debris flows through the culvert regularly, high
abrasion resistant systems can be used. Alternatively, paint systems with lower abrasion
resistance can be used in culverts which do not flow regularly or if the flow does not contain debris.
Painting of the invert of a BCMS was traditionally done using a coal tar epoxy coating. This method
is no longer used due to carcinogenic and environmental concerns. The preferred method would
be to obtain coated BCMS before installation. If repairing or prolonging the life of an existing
structure, a number of paint options are available including:
bituminous paint
polymer coatings
metal oxide based paints.
All metal surfaces need to be in sound condition and free of dust, dirt and moisture. Application of
the selected product can be done with a sprayer unit, brush or roller. This method could be used
with a concrete liner as mentioned above, to add better protection to the invert of the BCMS.
Advantages
extends the life of the BCMS by increasing resistance to corrosion and abrasion.
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Disadvantages
impossible to get complete coverage on moist inverts
diversion of stream waters required to allow BCMS to dry
breathing apparatus may be required due to confined space and lack of ventilation.
5.2.4 Joint Repairs
Separated joints can be repaired using a chemical grout such as polyurethane foams. This will stop
joints from leaking and prevent the erosion of backfill material behind the culvert. Where backfill
material has been lost, the voids can be grouted using a low pressure cement based grout.
5.2.5 Replacement of the Culvert
Removing and replacing a culvert should be considered when culverts:
have large distortion from original shape (greater than 5%)
experience significant reduction in waterway area due to the culvert shape not being circular
(they can be oval etc. in shape) or not having a consistent diameter along the length
have significant voids in the embankment material and grouting is not practical
are considered to have structurally failed.
Removing and replacing a culvert is the most practical option when:
culverts are smaller than 1.5 m diameter making it difficult to work inside
embankment height is low and traffic can be easily diverted
larger culverts have failed in ring compression, are badly corroded or have distorted
significantly, so they cannot be easily relined.
All of the issues described in Section 2 on appropriate selection of BCMS need to be considered
when selecting the replacement material and structural system.
Advantages
culvert can be redesigned to perform adequately over the appropriate design
significant site-specific experience can be gained from the performance of the old culvert
which can be used in the design of the new culvert.
Disadvantages
road will need to be closed for the replacement, possibly requiring staged construction
costs may be higher.
5.2.6 Shotcrete Lining
Shotcrete lining is performed by pneumatically applying cement plaster or concrete to the area
where relining is required. A gun operated by compressed air is used to apply the cement mixture.
Water is controlled and added to the dry material as it passes the nozzle of the gun. Shotcrete
lining is considered to be stronger that the hand-placed mortar of the same aggregate-cement
proportion because it permits placement with a lower water-to-cement ratio.
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It is recommended that the shotcrete thickness should be between 50 mm to 100 mm. A minimum
area of steel of 0.4% of the area of lining in both directions is recommended.
Advantages
culvert can be retrofitted in place with minimal interruption to the traffic above.
Disadvantages
skilled labour is required to successfully implement
cost may be high; this is a trade-off with traffic delays of other options.
5.2.7 Slip Lining
Where significant metal thickness has been lost from the entire circumference of the culvert, a
repair option is to reline the culvert with a new culvert of smaller diameter and grout the void
between the new and old culvert.
Slip lining involves inserting a sleeve inside the existing pipe, in situ. Before the designer makes a
final choice of material type it is recommended that tests are conducted on both the ground water
and flowing water in order to determine their chemical content and, hence, the potential for
corrosion. Where the ground water contains concentrations of pH levels lower than 5 (acidic), steel
may not be suitable and other materials such as concrete. High density polyethylene (HDPE) or
aluminium may be more appropriate subject to consideration of cost and time. It is also
recommended that the chemical composition of the backfill material is specified in order to reduce
the risk of corrosion (VicRoads 2008). In short, all the issues relevant to selecting a new BCMS are
relevant to the selection of a suitable liner.
Materials
Slip lining can be undertaken using the following materials:
HDPE
aluminium
steel
stainless steel
concrete.
Techniques
A HDPE lining is a push or pull technique where a new lining is inserted into the existing BCMS
(Figure 5.3). Once the new lining is in place an annulus grout is poured between the existing
BCMS and the new lining. Systems which rely on the host pipe for some measure of structural
support are sometimes known as interactive lining techniques.




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Figure 5.3: HDPE lining being installed
The culvert must be closest to its theoretical shape for efficient relining. If there is significant
distortion, then a much smaller pipe liner would be required for relining which can cause several
problems such as:
The void between the new liner and the old culvert or in the backfill material can be very
large and expensive to grout.
The smaller diameter culvert may not carry the design flood flow, resulting in the road
embankment overtopping and washing away.
Relining needs careful consideration and relevant experts should be consulted. Figure 5.4
illustrates the relining process.

Figure 5.4: Relining process
In order to line the culvert, the largest possible liner size (outside diameter) needs to be
determined. This can be achieved by the following method:
At either end of the culvert, establish the horizontal and vertical centre point with a level and
straight edge of suitable length to fit inside the culvert.
Put self-tapping screws through the culvert and establish horizontal and vertical stringlines at
each end with a laser at one end and aim it at the centre of the other end.
At 2.0 m centres, measure the horizontal and vertical diameters and the laser centreline
intercept for both.
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The dimensions can be plotted, and the largest straight internal tube can be measured.
Plot all horizontal and vertical diameters and laser intercepts.
Measure the largest included circle (Figure 5.5).
Choose a liner based on suitable construction clearances and grout thickness requirements.

Figure 5.5: Estimating largest liner diameter
Advantages
slip lining allows for the repair of the BCMS to be conducted with minimal disruption to traffic
flows, deep excavations together with the associated safety issues (VicRoads 2008)
makes use of the existing alignment, which may be the only viable alignment where the site
is restricted (VicRoads 2008)
suitable for a wide range of pipe types and diameters
avoids the need to build new end-walls where these already exist (VicRoads 2008)
relatively cheap, simple process.
Disadvantages
loss of cross-sectional area may be significant and it may be necessary to check the
flow-capacity of the BCMS in the lined condition (VicRoads 2008)
severe bends cannot usually be negotiated, especially at larger diameters
launch and reception pits must be dug
lateral connections must be excavated and re-built.
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5.2.8 Pipe Jacking Around the Existing Culvert
Pipe jacking can be used to replace almost any culvert size (Figure 5.6). A jacking unit is needed
at the portal to push the pipe into place. This jacking unit is of significant size and requires a
suitable working area and a stable backstop to react against the jacking unit.

Source: Tenbusch and Tenbusch. (2008).
Figure 5.6: Typical pipe jacking set-up
Pipe jacking around the existing culvert is an expensive option, but may be necessary when there
are no other alternatives. Examples include failed culverts that are unsafe to work in and culverts
under high fills or major roads where traffic diversion and excavation are impractical. Pipe jacking
is a specialist contracting skill and advice should be sought from experienced practitioners.
Advantages
can be used for consumption or parallel construction
allows direct installation of concrete or other pipe material that does not need a secondary
lining
original or slightly larger replacement pipe can be used
can eliminate sag in an existing culvert.
Disadvantages
requires large diameter for personnel entry
specialist skills and equipment needed.
5.2.9 Filling the Culvert
Filling the culvert should be considered if the pipe is too badly deteriorated and distorted to repair
and/or there is also a high safety risk to personnel due to collapse if the pipe were disturbed during
repair. In these situations flowable fill is used to fill the culvert preventing collapse or disturbance to
the overlying roads. A satisfactory procedure for this operation would need to be developed prior to
undertaking these works. The definition of flowable fill can be found in Appendix H of
AS/NZS 2041 (1998).
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6 CONCLUSIONS
These guidelines have collated extensive information on each of the key areas of BCMS including
design, construction, management/inspection and rehabilitation. They provide a valuable overview
of information suitable to assist engineers with all aspects of BCMS.
The information presented in the guidelines should not be used in isolation from other sources of
information on BCMS. Australian Standards should always be used to form the basis for any work
on BCMS in Australia. These standards can change over time and need to be referenced regularly.
The design of the guidelines has incorporated the information in the draft standard
AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) which is to replace the previous version of AS/NZS 2041 (1998). The new
standard will cover design methods, installation, helically formed sinusoidal pipes and bolted plate
structures. Once released, all BCMS will need to be designed in accordance with these new
standards and all information in these guidelines should be interpreted with consideration of the
new standard requirements.
Design of BCMS should be carried out by experienced practitioners or by engineers under the
direct supervision of an experienced practitioner with significant knowledge in BCMS and soil
structure interaction.
The rehabilitation of corroded culverts should be carried out in accordance with proven techniques
following comprehensive design analysis of the deteriorated structure. Each road authority should
ensure that rehabilitation works on corroded culverts are undertaken according to their own
guidelines. If none are available, guidelines of other road authorities and/or the guidelines
contained in this document should be consulted.
Culvert inspections should be carried out in accordance with the individual road authority
proformas. If not available, suitable methods can be developed using the information provided in
these guidelines.
6.1 Future Directions
The design section of these guidelines has been developed using information from the current draft
standard which is to replace AS/NZS 2041 (1998). The guidelines should be reviewed for
consistency with this standard once it has been published.
For future improvement, the durability design can be further simplified by development of a service
life look-up chart similar to the AISI chart in Figure 2.17 or a study into compatibility of the use of
US based charts for use in Australia.
Further study should also be conducted to include durability information on other types of coatings
such as polymer pre-coated and bituminous-coated materials. Currently, only sufficient information
for the durability design of galvanised coatings is available. Information such as the corrosion rate
for aluminium Type 2 coating is limited and no data is available in the draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010)
for other types of coatings.
Although the draft AS/NZS 2041.1 (2010) introduces the limit state design, the finite element
analysis (FEA) design method is still briefly explained. Further works will need to include a more
detailed explanation on how to use FEA for BCMS design by possibly adopting the freely available
FEA software and providing design examples.
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The management and inspection section of these guidelines has discussed a number of defects
that should be identified in a Level 2 structural inspection. Additional work is required to identify
condition states for the various defect severities needs to be developed in accordance with typical
bridge component condition states as covered in most of the road authority bridge inspection
manuals.

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Department of Transport and Main Roads, Brisbane, Qld.
Transport and Main Roads nd b, 'Design criteria for rehabilitating metal culverts using steel reinforced
polyethylene liners to MRTS', draft technical note, Department of Transport and Main Roads,
Brisbane, Queensland.
VicRoads 1997, Structural concrete, standard specification section 610, VicRoads, Kew, Vic.
VicRoads 2004, Bridge inspection manual, VicRoads, Kew, Vic.
VicRoads 2008, Draft refurbishment of buried corrugated metal structures, bridge technical note 2008/001,
version 1.0, VicRoads, Kew, Vic.
VicRoads 2009, Buried corrugated metal structures, bridge technical note 2005/009, version 2.0, VicRoads,
Kew, Vic, viewed 26 J uly 2011, <http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/4EE00C32-3B20-4E47-
8B7F-D64ABE6F3F38/0/BTN2005009V20.pdf>.
VicRoads 2010, Buried corrugated metal (steel) structures, standard specification section 632, VicRoads,
Kew, Vic.
Standards Australia
AS 1170.0-2002, Structural design actions: general principles.
AS 1170.4-2007, Structural design actions: earthquake actions in Australia.
AS 1289.4.3.1-1997, Methods of testing soils for engineering purposes: soil chemical tests: determination of
the pH value of a soil: electrometric method.
AS 1289.4.4.1-1997, Methods of testing soils for engineering purposes: soil chemical tests: determination of
the electrical resistivity of a soil: method for sands and granular materials.
AS 1289.5.3.1-2004, Methods of testing soils for engineering purposes: soil compaction and density tests:
determination of the field density of a soil: sand replacement method using a sand-cone pouring
apparatus.
AS 1289.5.3.5-1997, Methods of testing soils for engineering purposes: soil compaction and density tests:
determination of the field dry density of a soil: water replacement method.
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AS 1289.5.1.1-2003, Methods of testing soils for engineering purposes: soil compaction and density tests:
determination of the minimum and maximum dry density of a cohesionless material: standard method.
AS 1289.5.5.1-1998, Methods of testing soils for engineering purposes: soil compaction and density tests:
determination of the minimum and maximum dry density of a cohesionless material: standard method.
AS 1289.5.6.1-1998, Methods of testing soils for engineering purposes: soil compaction and density tests:
compaction control test: density index method for a cohesionless material.
AS 1289.5.8.1-2007, Methods of testing soils for engineering purposes: soil compaction and density tests:
determination of field density and field moisture content of a soil using a nuclear surface moisture
density gauge: direct transmission mode.
AS 1397-2001, Steel sheet and strip Hot-dip zinc-coated or aluminium/zinc-coated.
AS 1627.9-2002, Metal finishing preparation and pre-treatment of surfaces: part 9: pictoral surface
preparation standards for painting steel surfaces.
AS 1726-1993, Geotechnical site investigations.
AS/NZS 1734-1997, Aluminium and aluminium alloys Flat sheet, coiled sheet and plate.
AS 1761-1985, Helical lock-seam corrugated steel pipes.
AS 1762-1984, Helical lock-seam corrugated steel pipes: design and installation.
AS/NZS 2041-1998, Buried corrugated metal structures.
AS/NZS 2041.1 forthcoming, 'Buried corrugated metal structures: part 1: design methods', draft no. DR
10015 CP (2010).
AS 3703.1-1989, Long-span corrugated steel structures: part 1: materials and manufacture.
AS 3703.2-1989, Long-span corrugated steel structures: part 2: design and installation.
AS 4100-1998, Steel structures.
AS/NZS 4680-2006, Hot-dip galvanized (zinc) coatings on fabricated ferrous articles.
AS 5100.2-2004, Bridge design: design loads.


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APPENDIX A BCMS MANUFACTURERS AND COMPANIES
PROVIDING REHABILITATION SERVICES
This section is provided for information only and does not make any recommendations regarding
any particular company.
A.1 Humes
Humes makes steel reinforced concrete pipes, culverts and a wide range of engineered precast
concrete and environmental products.
Products
SRCP (steel reinforced concrete pipe).
AKS is a high-density polyethylene lining. All Humes precast products can be by supplied
incorporating AKS, and the liner is suited for in situ applications. AKS (combined with ALS
Secugrout) also enables a superior solution for post-construction installation and renovation.
CMP (corrugated metal pipe) is a helically wound, lock-seamed corrugated metal pipe and is
available in galvanised steel, aluminium or stainless steel. Humes CMP manufacturing facility is
also fully mobile, allowing for on-site manufacture of pipes and culverts up to 5.1 metres in
diameter.
Locations
Office locations in all capital cities.
Phone: 1300 361 601
Web: www.humes.com.au
A.2 Atlantic Civil Products
Atlantic Civil Products Pty Ltd is an Australian company that develops, designs, manufactures and
supplies products for the civil, mining and forestry industries. Its products include corrugated metal
pipe, corrugated structural plate, stabilised earth walls and steel girder bridges.
Products
Hel-Cor corrugated metal pipe available in aluminium, aluminised steel, galvanised steel and
polymer-coated galvanised steel (Trenchcoat). On-site milling is available.
Hiflo corrugated metal pipe smooth internal wall for low hydraulic friction.
Locations
Head office in Garbutt, Townsville other offices in WA, NSW.
Phone: 1800 99 77 54
Web: www.atlanticcivil.com.au
Email: sales@atlanticcivil.com.au
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A.3 Bluescope Steel (Bluescope Lysaght)
Bluescope Steel supplies many steel products including tanks and pipes including culverts up to
900 mm in diameter.
Products
HYDRORIBpipe is a lightweight, galvanised steel pipe, laminated inside and out with a
polymer protective coating film. The pipe features a smooth bore for excellent flow characteristics
and a ribbed outer wall for stiffness and strength.
HYDRORIBgalvanised pipe is available in 300 mm to 900 mm diameters provides a high-quality
and economic alternative to traditional culvert products.
Locations
NSW, QLD, Vic.
Phone: 1800 654 774
Web: www.bluescopewater.com.au
A.4 Roundel
Roundel produces the STILCOR range of corrugated steel products. Its product range is used in
road, rail, stormwater, drainage, irrigation, forestry and mining applications.
Products
STILCOR utilising the strength of sinusoidal corrugations and using a double offset lock
seam, galvanised coil is roll formed into a continuous helical barrel. Sizes range from 300 mm to
3600 mm in diameter.
ALUCOR aluminium coil is roll formed into a continuous helical barrel to produce an extremely
robust yet economical piping solution. Sizes range from 300 mm to 2400 mm in diameter.
Locations
Neerabup, WA.
Phone: 618 9404 5391
Web: www.roundel.com.au
A.5 Interflow
Interflow Pty Ltd provides repair, restoration and renewal services for deteriorated underground
non-pressure pipelines. Pipeline diameters can range from 100 mm to over 2400 mm, and the full
range of ancillary services are offered.
Processes
Expanda consists of a single, continuous strip of PVC, which is spirally wound into the existing
pipeline via a winding machine positioned in the base of an existing manhole or access chamber.
The edges of the strip interlock as it is spirally wound to form a continuous watertight liner inside
the host pipe. Once a section of Expanda liner is installed, a mechanical process is used to
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radically expand it until it fits tightly against the wall of the host pipe. This minimises the loss in
cross-sectional area. The ends of the liner at each manhole are sealed and rendered to the host
pipe whilst lateral connections are reconnected by robotic cutting.
Rotaloc is a full-bore spirally wound PVC liner that restores the structural integrity, reliability and
efficiency of aging sewers, gravity pipelines and culverts with diameters from 800 mm to 1500 mm.
Like Expanda, the Rotaloc PVC profile strip is supplied to site on spools so the size of the site
footprint is minimal. The profile is available in a range of sizes and thicknesses to enable selection
based on design requirements for the project.
Cementitious grouting of the void between the liner profile and the host pipe can be offered in order
to meet specification requirements.
Ribline is a fixed diameter full-bore structural liner that restores the integrity, reliability and
efficiency of aging pipes and culverts. It is suitable for pipe diameters from 400 mm to 3000 mm.
Ribline is made of a composite steel reinforced high density polyethylene profile. The combination
of the strength of steel and the durability of plastic result in a liner with a high strength-to-weight
ratio.
Locations
Head Office Girraween NSW. Offices in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and NZ.
Phone: 1800 251 240
Web: www.interflow.com.au
Email: mail@interflow.com.au
A.6 Veolia Environmental Services
Veolia provides pipe laying and pipe rehabilitation services.
Processes
Veolia provides services in pipe lining, pipebursting and coatings.
Locations
National Office Pyrmont NSW. Offices in all capital cities
Phone: (02) 8571 0000
Web: www.veoliaes.com.au
Email: national@veolia.com.au
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A.7 UEA Group
UEA's Trenchless Division offers a full range of trenchless and conventional construction
technologies.
Processes
Thrust boring installation of steel casing from 300 mm to 1000 mm to accommodate the
appropriate carrier pipes.
Pipe ramming Used for large pipe installation in difficult ground conditions cobble, running
sand, soft ground. Steel pipe up to 2 m diameter and up to 60 m in length.
Pipe bursting pneumatic and hydraulic bursting installations. Installation sizes from 100 mm to
250 mm.
Locations
Offices in Sydney and Canberra
Phone: (02) 9851 3000 and (02) 6228 1199
Web: www.uea.com.au
Email: trenchless@uea.com.au
A.8 INSITUFORM PACIFIC Pty Ltd
Insituform Technologies, Inc., is a provider of cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) and other technologies
and services for the rehabilitation of pipeline systems.
Processes
CIPP (cured-in-place pipe) Insituform CIPP restores structural integrity to damaged pipes. Repair
sizes range from 100 mm up to 2500 mm in diameter.
Locations
St Marys, NSW
Phone: (02) 9484 5944
Web: www.insituform.com
Email: dgamboa@insituform.com
A.9 ITS Trenchless (formerl y CLM)
ITS Trenchless (previously known as CLM Trenchless) provides a broad range of processes for
the installation and renovation of pipelines and structures.
Processes
Pipebursting Pipebursting involves replacement of an existing pipe by pneumatic or hydraulic
means with minimal disruption to the environment.
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Swagelining is the process of building sections of polyethylene (PE) pipe that are butt fused
together to form a continuous string; the pipe is pulled through a reducing dye to temporarily
reduce diameter. This allows the pipe to be easily pulled through the host pipe. After the pipe is
inserted, the pulling force is removed, allowing the pipe to return naturally toward its original
diameter until it presses closely against the wall of the host pipe.
In situ spray lining has been developed as a rapid-setting high-build polymeric lining system that
will confer structural properties to drinking water pipelines.
Point-linings point-liners in the industry are also referred to as pipe patches, patch lining and
short form pipe liners.
Sliplining is similar to pipebursting, except a pipeline smaller than the existing main is installed
with no displacement of the host pipe. This is ideal for pipeline renewals where the flow capacity
can be reduced. Installation is either by towing in a product pipe, or pipe-jacking, depending on the
project specifics.
Locations
NSW and QLD
Phone: (02) 8603 2000 and (07) 3865 6100
Web: www.itstrenchless.com.au
Email: enquiries@itstrenchless.com.au
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APPENDIX B REVIEW OF STATE ROAD AUTHORITY
EXPERIENCE
B.1 Roads and Traffic Authority, NSW (RTA)
Extent of use and configurations
Corrugated steel structures have been used on RTAs road network for a number of decades, with
round pipes of all sizes used for road drainage purposes with the larger corrugated steel arch
structures used for stock or pedestrian underpasses.
There are approximately 70 bridge size corrugated steel structures i.e., those with a combined
span of 6m or larger, and approximately 62 000 small size culverts on RTAs road network.
RTA has the results of inspections of 41 430 culverts in its culvert database, and from the inventory
currently collected, the reported number of corrugated steel culverts is:
spiral wound 387 culverts (0.9% of the total)
multi-plate 372 culverts (0,9% of the total).
From the inventory currently collected, the reported number of corrugated aluminium culverts is:
spiral wound 10 culverts (0.02% of the total)
multi-plate 4 culverts (0.01% of the total).
Many of the spiral wound steel pipes were probably installed in the 1970s and 1980s giving a
serviceable life of 30 to 40 years, well short of the life of 100 years now specified for permanent
drainage structures, and which would be expected from concrete pipes.
Following the fatal corrugated steel pipe culvert failure at Somersby in J une 2007 and initial
findings from subsequent RTA culvert condition inspections, RTA Road Design Branch issued
Road Design Technical Directions RTD 2009/001, RTD 2009/002 and RTD 2009/002 ANNEX on
the selection and the rehabilitation of corrugated steel structures with can be found at:
<http://home.rta.nsw.gov.au/org/techinfo/key_tech_docs/tech_direction/index.html>.
RTD 2009/01 imposes restrictions on the use of steel culverts for new works and specifies a
product assessment process for proprietary steel culverts, in lieu of a site-specific assessment and
approval process requiring sign-off by the Principal Road Design Engineer on the use of any steel
culvert products on projects.
Failures
Five people were killed when the council-owned three-cell corrugated steel pipe culvert carrying
Piles Creek under the Old Pacific Highway near Somersby on the NSW Central Coast collapsed
during a severe storm event on Friday 8th J une 2007. The culvert failure was caused by washout
of the surrounding embankment fill arising from severe corrosion and subsequent failure of the
pipe walls. This event prompted a number of actions by the road authorities in relation to their
stormwater and other culvert structures.
The majority of the RTAs corrugated steel pipe structures inspected well before and after the
Somersby collapse have been found to have corroded inverts with damage ranging from mild to
severe, with various forms of remediation works subsequently undertaken by the responsible
Regional office.
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From the inventory records for various aluminium pipes, little evidence of corrosion was reported.
No RTA corrugated metal structures are thought to have failed catastrophically. Generally, a
progressive decline and signs of deterioration reflected in the road pavement in advance of total
failure would be expected.
Design specifications
The design of new corrugated steel structures and the rehabilitation of existing ones have
generally been carried out in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards.
RTA does not have its own design specifications for such structures.
Inspections
Following the corrugated steel pipe culvert failure at Somersby, the RTA issued the following
comprehensive requirements for the condition inspections of all types of culverts on RTAs road
network:
<http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/downloads/lgr/culvert_inventory_guideline.pdf>
<http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/downloads/lgr/culvert_data_collection_v1.doc>
<http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/downloads/lgr/inventory_guidelines_training_urs_
presentation.pdf>.
Repair and maintenance methods
RTD 2009/02 and RTD 2009/02 ANNEX provide details of procedures deemed suitable by RTA for
the rehabilitation of corrugated steel pipe culverts.
Remediation treatments in spirally wound steel pipes in recent years have generally been by
relining the pipe with a smaller pipe, or installing a concrete base to the bottom third of the pipe.
Techniques known to have been used to date for the rehabilitation of failed or corroded structures
include:
Full structural shotcrete lining Bangalow Bypass on Pacific Highway RTA Northern
Region repair of failed new 2.4 m diameter three-cell pipe culvert during construction in
1994
Full structural shotcrete lining Tumblong Creek on Hume Highway RTA South-Western
Region rehabilitation of corroded large diameter pipe culvert
Concrete invert lining and approach treatment Pyes Creek RTA Sydney Region design
analysis and rehabilitation of corroded 3.7 m diameter two-cell pipe culvert built in 1960
Interflow lining with grouting of annulus and provision of new headwalls and wingwalls
George Creek on Newline Road RTA Sydney Region design analysis and rehabilitation
of corroded 3.3 m diameter two-cell pipe culvert built in 1960
Precast concrete pipe insertion and grouting with new wingwalls and head walls
Campbelltown culvert RTA Sydney Region analysis and rehabilitation of corroded 2.7 m
diameter two-cell pipe culvert.
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Construction specifications
RTA QA Specifications R22, Corrugated Metal Structures, currently withdrawn, specifies the
requirements for installation of corrugated metal structures, and refers to RTA QA specification
R11, Stormwater drainage, and to the relevant Australian Standards. RTA R22 will be reinstated
following publication of the new AS/NZS 2041 series of Standards.
B.2 Roads Corporation, Victoria (VicRoads)
General experiences
The majority of BCMS on state-controlled roads in Victoria are tubular of circular, elliptical or
compound cross-section and either assembled from rectangular steel plates or is spirally-wound on
site. VicRoads also has a number of metal arch structures.
There are 2265 culverts on the Victorian state-controlled network which makes up to one-third of
the total number of structures on the network. 142 of these culverts are BCMS, including 33 steel
arches. A further 25 BCMS are also present in the network but have not been assessed, bringing
the total number of BCMS to 167. Of the 142 BCMS, 13 are reported to be either programmed for
lining in the current year or to be under consideration for lining. Table B 1 summarises the
condition status of BCMS in Victoria.
Table B 1: BCMS condition summary in Victoria
Condition and lining status
Condition state Lining status Number
C1 Unlined 79
C1 Lined 20
C1 Replaced 0
C2 Unlined 26
C2 Lined 2
C3 Unlined 13
C4 Unlined 2
Sub-Total 142
Other BCMS 25
Total 167

Experience has found that the arch type structure is less prone to severe corrosion in
circumstances where the concrete channel carries the majority of the flow and the arch springing is
above the level of the water flow. Typically arch structures are in condition state 1.
VicRoads also has a small number of aluminium BCMS. This culvert type has been found to have
very few corrosion issues, and no real abrasion issues have been experienced despite the
common belief that abrasion is more critical in aluminium alloy pipes.
Inspections over recent years have revealed that the majority of steel BCMS in Victoria show signs
of corrosion to varying degrees. Many culverts have suffered a significant loss of wall thickness
and some are perforated. In the most severe cases the invert has corroded away and water is
flowing below the original invert level. It has been found that it is not uncommon for a BCMS that
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has been in service for 25 years to be severely damaged and culverts of 10 to 15 years of age to
be showing evidence of serious corrosion with significant loss of thickness already occurring.
Significant corrosion in a culvert installed in 2002 and inspected in 2007 was found despite the
absence of continuously flowing water in the culvert.
In summary, VicRoads has found that the age at which corrosion commences is much earlier than
might reasonably be expected and that the rate of loss of thickness also exceeds expectations. For
these reasons the expected design life of this type of structure is typically not being achieved.
Design specification
Standard specification section 632 Buried Corrugated Metal (Steel) Structures (VicRoads 2010)
defines design and construction parameter limitations for all VicRoads BCMS.
VicRoads allows bolted steel plates or sheets in accordance with AS/NZS 2041 (1998) and long
span corrugated steel structures in accordance with AS 3703.1 (1989) and AS 3703.2 (1989).
Pipes made from helically-wound galvanised steel strip with lock seams or other proprietary
helically-wound profiles are not permitted typically due to the very thin sections required to allow
the rolling process to occur. The thin section is considered inadequate for durability/corrosion
resistance and would result in a design life that is shorter than required.
BCMS are not permitted if the culvert is permanently inundated to any depth.
Typically BCMS are to have a design life of 100 years with the residual thickness at 100 years to
be sufficient to safely support the current design dead and live load relevant at the time of design.
BCMS of less than 1200 mm are not permitted.
If the design life cannot be achieved using steel, consideration must be given to using materials
such as aluminium alloy or pre-cast concrete pipes or box culverts.
B.3 Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland (TMR)
Failures
Pritchard and Muller (2003), provide a detailed report on the failure of a helical spun steel culvert
located under the Gateway Arterial (100 m north of Deagon Interchange) (Figure B 1 to
Figure B 3). Significant structural failure was noted in all three pipes due to standing water causing
corrosion and subsequent loss of steel section in the culvert walls. Deformation was also attributed
to mechanical damage during installation. As shown in Figure B 2, the pipe wall cannot support the
ring compression in the most corroded locations causing the pipe to fold in on itself, grossly
distorting the pipe cross-section and reducing the pipes capacity. This defect appears to be
directly below the Gateway Motorway and has most likely been exacerbated by the additional dead
load of the overlying embankment material.
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Source: Pritchard and Muller (2003).
Figure B 1: Failure mechanism observed during the inspection and proposed propping measures

Source: Pritchard and Muller (2003).
Figure B 2: Gross structural failure and distortion of the pipe at a joint between pipe segments


Corrosion at these
locations
Standing water
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Source: Pritchard and Muller (2003).
Figure B 3: Deformation of the pipe wall possibly occurred during culvert installation
Recommendations include that as a long-term solution, the existing pipes be abandoned and filled
with flowable fill to prevent adverse effects to the overlying roadways. New pipes would be installed
on a new alignment, chosen on the basis of practicality and cost of installation. To prevent collapse
in the central pipe in the short-term, temporary propping was recommended.
Figure B 4 shows a failure that occurred on the Bruce Highway which resulted in closure for
several months.

Source: TMR nd a.
Figure B 4: Culvert soil arch failure
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Inspections
TMR has developed bridge asset management (BAM) advice note no. 88 which is a draft
inspection and treatment document for metal culverts. This includes required culvert information to
be collected and various risk conditions assessed and suitable actions taken.
A regular inspection and maintenance program will keep culverts free-flowing and provide early
notice when attention is needed. When inspection reveals signs of distress, such as excessive
invert wear, the most practical response is early rehabilitation. Preventive care is the best way to
achieve long life. Virtually all culvert failures result from insufficient maintenance or unidentified
harmful changes in service conditions. If the need arises, the hydraulic performance of buried
culverts typically can be restored with liners. The characteristics of corrugated steel culverts make
relining relatively fast and economical, saving the cost of excavation and replacement without
sacrificing drainage capacity.
TMR in the Road Drainage Manual (TMR 2010) provides guidelines on inspecting corrugated
metal pipe culverts and these include:
inspecting the pipe for signs of rust or corrosion
ensuring the painted or galvanised surface is in good condition
checking that the line and invert of the pipe is straight with no water being retained in the
pipe
making sure that connection bolts have not torn through the plates or split the plates.
B.4 Department of Lands and Planning, Northern Territory (DLP)
Typically, BCMS have not been used much by the DLP because of corrosion concerns. It has had
one example of a badly deformed pipe due to a high embankment resulting in a compression type
failure.
The use of BCMS in the Northern Territory dates back to the early 1960s or earlier. They are
generally only galvanised.
The DLP has experienced a few examples of external corrosion (soil side) of the BCMS, but
typically it is most common that the inverts are lost within 10 years or so due to erosion and
corrosion. There have also been a few examples of culverts being scoured out and ending up
downstream.
B.5 ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services (ACT TAMS)
ACT has provided information on four corrugated steel culverts. They are all over 30 years old.
Three are pedestrian underpasses with no water and the fourth has a small creek flowing through
it. All are in good condition and no particular issues have been identified.
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B.6 Summary of Areas of Concern/Interest to State Roads Authorities
Table B.2 lists the topics related to BCMS that road authorities are seeking advice.
Table B.2: Topics related to BCMS that road authorities are seeking advice
Issue Raised by
Durability (corrosion rates) VicRoads
Non-destructive testing VicRoads
Repair methods (less invasive and safe) VicRoads
Standard end treatments TMR






INFORMATION RETRIEVAL
Austroads, 2011, Guidelines for Design, Construction, Monitoring and
Rehabilitation of Buried Corrugated Metal Structures, Sydney, A4, pp. 113.
AP-T196-11
Keywords: Buried, corrugated, soil structure interaction, culvert, asset
management, structural design, culvert rehabilitation, construction
Abstract: Buried corrugated metal structures (BCMS) have been used in
Australia as an attractive solution to under road drainage requirements due to
the low cost and fast construction times achievable. Several incidents of
significant failures of BCMS, however, have been reported in current practice.
These guidelines provide essential information regarding BCMS from the
design process, installation, in-service monitoring, through to maintenance and
repair procedures. The guidelines include: (i) methods for designing of BCMS
which include structural and durability considerations, (ii) methods of
installation and construction required to satisfy the design performance, (iii)
guidelines for structural management and inspection of BCMS which include
the defect identification condition rating system and structural management
plans, and (iv) repair methods for damaged BCMS.