Buried Bridge

Buried Steel Bridges Provide a Durable Option for Short Span Crossings

An economical choices for bridge replacement or bridge rehabilitation is corrugated steel pipe  and structural plate pipe systems – also known as buried bridges.

Buried Steel Bridge

Example of a buried steel bridge.  This buried bridge has a 30ft 8in span x 8ft 1in rise with deep corrugated box step beveled ends.

Buried bridges carry loads through soil-structure interaction. The bridge structure and the backfill soils surrounding it interact with each other to support the loads. Because of this interaction, the bridge structure is typically lighter.  Some advantages of buried bridges include:

  • Low Cost and Speed of Installation: Buried bridges generally provide a low installed cost compared to other options, often less than half the cost of a typical bridge. This benefit is increased when you consider the fast installation times. Structures are installed in days and often without disruption.
  • Minimal Maintenance: Buried bridge systems require significantly less maintenance. While periodic inspection may be required, there are no expensive bridge decks or bridge approaches to maintain.
  • Durability of Coatings and Service Life: Buried bridges are available in a variety of coatings meeting nearly any service life requirement up to 100+ years. Galvanized, aluminized and polymer-coated CSP are just a few of the coating options. These and other coating options are addressed in the NCSPA Service Life Guide.
  • Environmental Benefits: Habitat protection and environmental enhancements are major benefits of using long span structures. Habitats are preserved by spanning the riparian zones and preserving or creating a natural streambed. Simply burying the invert can also provide an effective and economical biological enhancement. Additionally, fish passage enhancements can be incorporated in the structure.

If you are looking for a buried steel bridge supplier, please see Find-a-Supplier for a complete company directory.

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