How to Make a Small Truck Bridge

Some rural home and property owners decide to create a brand new bridge to replace an existing one or to gain access to property across a creek or embankment.

Doing so is no small task, but if you have access to the right tools and take the time to do the work correctly and not cut corners, making a bridge strong enough to support the weight of a truck or other vehicles can be done.

  1. Obtain a valid building permit from your local building authority that will adhere to any zoning laws and bridge requirements. Even if the bridge is only for personal use on private property, get the permit to ensure no laws are broken. Cost for the permit varies by location.

  2. Contact a construction equipment rental company about hauling the rock; if you buy rock from a quarry, they may be able to truck the rock to your location as part of the purchase price. Otherwise, use your own truck to haul the rock but realize you’ll have to make several trips depending on how much rock you purchased.

  3. Lower the culvert pipe into the creek bed and use some rock to slightly elevate the end of the pipe that the water flows into to reduce the chance of backup from heavy rains. Stabilize the pipe in the creek bed and fill either side with at least 3 inches of rock to secure the pipe in the bed. This also helps hold the pipe in place when you add the additional rock.

  4. Use the backhoe to push and fill each side of the pipe with rock until the culvert pipe is completely covered. Use larger rocks first to hold back smaller rocks from entering or blocking either end of the pipe. Cover the pipe until about one full foot of rock covers the top of the pipe. Allow some time for the rock to settle.

  5. Push gravel over the rock to create the roadway. For additional support, spread fill dirt over the rock prior to using the gravel. Use the posthole diggers to dig holes for the 4-by-4s that line either side of the bridge. Space them about 6 feet apart and dig them at least one foot into the gravel/dirt.

  6. Fill the holes with gravel to stabilize the posts in the holes and screw the 2-by-4s into place along the posts to create fencing along the bridge.