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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 11, Number 5, November 2016 , pages 625-638

Field testing and numerical modeling of a low-fill box culvert under a flexible pavement subjected to traffic loading
Raju Acharya, Jie Han, Robert L. Parsons and James J. Brennan

    This paper presents field study and numerical modeling results for a single-cell low-fill concrete box culvert under a flexible pavement subjected to traffic loading. The culvert in the field test was instrumented with displacement transducers to capture the deformations resulting from different combinations of static and traffic loads. A low-boy truck with a known axle configuration and loads was used to apply seven static load combinations and traffic loads at different speeds. Deflections under the culvert roof were measured during loading. Soil and pavement samples were obtained by drilling operation on the test site. The properties of the soil and pavement layers were determined in the laboratory. A 3-D numerical model of the culvert was developed using a finite difference program FLAC3D. Linear elastic models were used for the pavement layers and soil. The numerical results with the material properties determined in the laboratory were compared with the field test results. The observed deflections in the field test were generally smaller under moving loads than static loads. The maximum deflections measured during the static and traffic loads were 0.6 mm and 0.41 mm respectively. The deflections computed by the numerical method were in good agreement with those observed in the field test. The deflection profiles obtained from the field test and the numerical simulation suggest that the traffic load acted more like a concentrated load distributed over a limited area on the culvert. Elastic models for culverts, pavement layers, and surrounding soil are appropriate for numerical modeling of box culverts under loading for load rating purposes.
Key Words
    culvert; deflection; numerical method; pavement; stress
(1) Raju Acharya:
Engineering & Testing Services, Inc., 5226 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23464, USA;
(2) Jie Han, Robert L. Parsons:
Department of Civil, Environmental, & Architectural Engineering, The University of Kansas, 1530 West 15th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, USA;
(3) James J. Brennan:
Kansas Department of Transportation, 2300 Van Buren, Topeka, KS 66611, USA.

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