AbstractCorrugated steel pipe (CSP) culverts have been widely used for decades; however, their structural behavior under surface loading may not be correctly captured by design codes based on results from recent experimental studies. To address this, the data from nine full-scale experiments investigating the structural behavior of corrugated steel culverts with different burial depths and surface loading configurations, instrumented with distributed fiber optic strain sensors, were compared with three-dimensional finite-element analyses. Parametric studies were undertaken that included different models for the corrugation properties (i.e., explicit modeling of the corrugated geometry and orthotropic, and isotropic shell), contact between soil and pipes, and the soil properties (soil moduli and elastic and elastoplastic behavior). It was found that the orthotropic model was a good substitute for explicit modeling of the corrugated geometry, which saves computation time and still provides an accurate estimation of the thrusts and moments. The moments in the culvert were found to be sensitive to the distribution of soil moduli, whereas thrusts were not. Based on this investigation, three-dimensional analyses using orthotropic shell models, elastic soil properties with moduli varying with depth, and tie constraints between the soil and the culvert are recommended for future investigations of corrugated steel pipe responses to surface loads.

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