AbstractTo explore the earth pressure distribution characteristics of high-speed loess subgrade culvert and improve the structural design of high fill culvert, taking an arch culvert from Lingjingdian to Longbai section of East 2nd Ring Expressway Project in Taiyuan city of Shanxi Province as an example, a numerical analysis model of high fill culvert was established by using CANDE – 2007 finite-element software. The culvert setting method and filling height are taken as the main influencing factors. The distribution characteristics of vertical earth pressure and settlement of the culvert are revealed. The variation of the earth pressure coefficient at the culvert top under different filling heights is analyzed. The variation characteristics of earth pressure at the culvert top with filling height under two kinds of culvert construction methods, namely, buried culvert and trench culvert, are compared. The influence of culvert construction method and soil-arching effect on culvert stress is discussed. The earth pressure gauge is arranged in the upper soil of the arch culvert structure to record the measured earth pressure data, and the numerical simulation results are verified with the measured data. The results show that the settlement of the soil in the center of the culvert is obviously different from that on both sides of the culvert, which leads to the soil-arching effect and is an important factor affecting the vertical soil stress at the top of the culvert; the earth pressure on the top of culvert increases linearly with the change of filling height; when the filling height is greater than 5 m, the earth pressure coefficient of the buried culvert increases sharply at first and then decreases slowly with the increase of the filling height, and the stress concentration occurs at the top of the culvert; however, the coefficient of earth pressure decreases with the increase of height and then tends to be stable, and the vertical earth pressure on the top of culvert decreases; the central settlement value of trench culvert is always greater than that of buried culvert at the same height; and compared with the field monitoring and numerical simulation results, the measured earth pressure is greater than the numerical simulation results, and the stress concentration on the top of the culvert is more obvious, which provides a reference for the culvert engineering design.