The seismic safety of underground structures (culvert, subway, natural-gas and water-sewage systems) plays a major role in sustainable public safety and urban development. Very few experimental data are currently available and there is no generally accepted procedure to estimate the dynamic pressures acting on these underground structures. This study aims to enhance the state of the prevalent information necessary to understand the dynamic behaviour of box culverts and the stresses acting under dynamic excitations through experimental analyses. For this purpose, a series of shaking-table tests were conducted on box-type culverts buried in dry sand. To simulate the free-field boundary conditions, a laminar box was designed and manufactured for use with a 1-g shake table. Two culvert models having different rigidities were tested under various harmonic motions in order to examine the effect of the flexibility ratio on dynamic lateral soil pressures. Based on the test results, a simplified dynamic pressure distribution acting on the sidewalls of the culvert model was suggested. Then, a dynamic lateral coefficient was defined for the proposed peak pressure value in the distribution. The values of this coefficient were obtained as a function of the shear strain by considering the relative stiffness between the soil and the underground structure.