Ensuring that a bridge or roadway maintains stability while improving hydraulic flow is crucial for culvert installation. However, headwalls and wing walls are equally important to maintaining a structurally sound installation.

So, how do culvert headwalls and wing walls work together? Let’s discuss their differences and how they create a stable, functional culvert solution.

What Are Culvert Headwalls?

Headwalls are precast concrete or steel structures with wings and a bottom to help the soil by deflecting water. Headwalls are commonly used near ponds, streams, and other similar waterway systems.

Headwalls support roadways, railways, and bridges by anchoring the culvert, preventing dangerous or unwanted movement resulting from hydraulic and soil pressures. Moreover, headwalls avoid soil erosion and scouring from turbulent stormwater activity.

What Are Culvert Wing Walls?

Wing walls are types of headwalls that consist of vertical concrete slabs or steel plates that extend at an angle from the culvert opening. They are often constructed with footings or aprons, if needed, and are best used for maximum erosion control.

Wing walls are simple and quick to install, making for a retaining wall for nearby terrain by extending from the bridge and box culvert openings. Moreover, they can last a significant amount of time without accumulating rust, rot, or erosion. Lastly, they provide a durable and reliable hold after installation.

How Do They Work Together?

Wing walls and headwalls work together by improving the flow of a conduit, finish, and secure the ends of box culverts and bridge sections. They come in many types, including free-standing, precast aprons, and parapets. While improving upstream hydraulics, they stabilize inlet soil conditions.

Headwalls and wing walls help with function to maximize flow performance in the outlet and inlet of the culvert, creating a functional, permanent structure. They offer many benefits, including minimizing back scouring, outlet perching, and blockages for culverts. Headwalls and wing walls offer an efficient installation and soil stabilization solution.

Our culvert rehabilitation systems at InfraSteel help support bridges and railways while improving hydraulic waterway systems. We focus on servicing our customers with consistently high-quality structural steel pipe systems, bringing support and reputable solutions. Our long-lasting culvert headwalls and wing wall systems offer heavy-duty performance, manufactured to accommodate dimensions and requirements for every project site.