Used as part of an overall bridge or culvert structure, precast concrete headwalls add an extra level of strength and protection. Used primarily as stream or stormwater crossings, precast culverts, headwalls, and wing walls come together to give your project nearly maintenance-free and durable infrastructure.
These features, along with an apron at each opening, will help keep the soil from eroding around the culvert and corral excess stormwater. After the 3-sided bridge is placed, wing walls are attached at each opening. Headwalls are used at the top of the openings to keep soil in place if round culverts are used.
Once in place, the precast structure can be backfilled and the project can move forward. These precast components are relatively straightforward to install compared to plastic or metal conduits. Special procedures are needed when backfilling for these materials because of the equal pressure needed to keep their shape.
Other Advantages of Precast Headwalls
Along with easy installation, precast concrete products can be made and strength tested well before leaving the facility and delivered to the job site. As soon as the bedding and footings are in place, the culvert, wing walls are delivered and ready to go. That’s just not possible with pour in place concrete.
Precast concrete will also outlast any other culvert material. Even with protective coatings, metal culverts will rust over time and plastic pipes can get brittle or even break when being placed. Concrete is resistant to water, extreme cold and heat, and will handle the weight of vehicles and equipment overhead.
The longevity of concrete also makes precast concrete more sustainable than other materials. Because of its strength, there isn’t a need for repair or replacement as often. That means less removal of concrete and fewer materials heading to the landfill.