Top 12 Difference between Culvert and Bridge- Explained Easy

There is not too much difficult to understand the Difference between culvert and bridge. Here I have described in an easy way so that you can get the full concept easily. So, Let’s Start.


Difference between culvert and bridge

Drainage structure which facilitates a communication pathway to carry a road or railway traffic across an obstacle with or without water is called a bridge.

The route of communication may be railways, roadways, cycle tracks, sidewalks, and the obstacle may be in the form of a river, stream, valley, channel, road, railway track, etc.

Read Also, Different types of bridges – All Types of Bridge used in Civil Engineering


Difference between culvert and bridge

Culvert is a small bridge having a total length of 6 m or less than 6 m between the faces of abutments. In other words,  a culvert is a tunnel structure that permits running water to pass under a roadway or railway.

This type of culvert is a permanent drainage structure that is mainly made to carry a roadway or railway track over small streams or canals.

Read Also, Different types of Culvert

Difference between culvert and bridge

The purpose of both bridges and culvert is to provide a transportation route over obstructions, which seems the same, but the span length differentiates between the two structures.

Some important Difference between culvert and bridge are given below:

1.A bridge is a passage of transportation over a large body of water or physical obstruction.A culvert is generally a tunnel like structure that permits water to pass under a roadway or railway.
2.The basic components of a bridge are superstructure, substructure and deck.The components of culvert are comparatively simpler and include concrete boxes or cells, pipe, a top deck or slab and supporting parts.
3.Bridges are constructed at more than 20 feet height.Culverts are built at less than 20 feet height.
4.The span of bridge ranges from 6 m to 120 m.The length of culvert is not more than 6 m.
5.The supporting structures of a bridges are piers and abutments.Culverts are usually embedded in the soil. The soil bears the major portion of the culvert load.
6.The structure and design of a bridge are complex, hence its construction requires a substantial budget.The construction of a culvert requires a low budget.
7.A bridge have no floor.A culvert is an enveloping structure consists of two sides, a roof and a floor.
8.Bridges are constructed at the site or pre-constructed in smaller parts.Culverts can be pre-constructed or built at the site.
9.A bridge construction requires a lot of time and manpower.Construction of culverts requires less time and labour because it is simple in structure and design.
10.It provides an easier route of transportation that saves time and reduces distance.It prevents water logging, flood and erosion and allows water to flow.
11.It is built over a body of water that is large and has variable flow.It is constructed when water needs to be conveyed through tunnels or channels under a roadway.
12.Bridges can resists heavy and speeding vehicles.Some culverts are unsuitable for high velocity vehicles that have sharp corners like box culverts.

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