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Precast concrete boxes have applications other than culverts
Critical infrastructure such as culverts and small bridges comprised of multiple precast concrete box sections are specified because the service life of the boxes match the design life of the project. Single and multi-barrelled culverts and small bridges are most common under roads, but they are also used under railways. Specifiers looking for material and products that have a 100-year service life tend to include precast boxes. Contractors prefer precast because it arrives on site in standard sizes and is easy and fast to install. Installation crews spend less time exposed to health and safety issues compared to crews engaged in poured-in-place projects. There are, however, many applications for precast boxes other than culverts and small bridges that fit the need for a 100-year plus design life.
Cementitious materials have been used by civilizations over the past 5,000 years. The Egyptians used mud mixed with straw to bind dried bricks, and gypsum mortars and mortars of lime are evident in the pyramids. In the same period, 5,000 years ago, the Chinese used cementitious materials to bind bamboo in their boats and later rocks in portions of the Great Wall. These cementitious materials evolved with the advancement of science and technology to the concrete mixes of today. In the modern era, as in past civilizations, concrete is the single most widely used material in the world.